Rethinking the role of the brain in driving phantom pain

Although pain is inherently linked to one’s own body, for people suffering from limb amputation, pain can be experienced as arising from outside the body – from their missing limb. This phenomenon, termed phantom limb pain, is estimated to occur in 4 out of 5 upper limb amputees, and therefore poses a significant medical problem. Phantom pain can … [Read more...]

Negative Phantom Limbs?

Phantom limbs are more than the mere phenomenal persistence of a physically lost extremity. They are experienced by paraplegic patients, who have lost sensorimotor control over still existing limbs, and they are reported after brain damage as hallucinated “spare limbs” with more or less insight of their owner in their reality.  Phantom body parts … [Read more...]

Interactions between Pain and the Motor Cortex

People are generally aware that pain can interact with motor performance, but pain-related motor dysfunctions are often put down to pain caused by the movement or fear of re-injury (e.g., fear-avoidance behaviors). The reality of things, however, is much more complex, and in a recent review paper (Mercier & Léonard, 2011; see also Bank et al. … [Read more...]