Yeah in the early days it’s about meds to reduce what pain you can. This is good for the brain signals. Find a balance of rest and activity. The iWalk helped me up on my feet 10 days post op mixed with rest and wheelchair find that balance of keeping a small bit active and getting some air whilst resting. This helps mentally. Never refer to phantoms as ‘pain’ they are just phantoms (never pain) they can be stabbing, but not stabbing ‘pain’ etc. They are not real at all, ever. Remember to own your stump and don’t let your stump own you. Don’t dwell on phantoms. If you are doing something, let the phantom pass with minimal fuss and continue your activity. You have 6 months from surgery, if you start to see an improvement in this time, the odds are it will continue to improve. The longer it goes on past this the less chance you have to get rid of it. People say massage your stump, I recommend to slap your stump with each phantom. A smart slap. this only works in the first 4 months ish and earlier. The nerves are still sensitive in this time. By slapping your stump, you will cause the nerves to ‘stand to attention’ this interrupts the brain signal to the brain and that particular phantom instantly goes and is replaced with a fuzzy feeling. That phantom has gone instantly. Keep repeating this and it re-educates the brain and interrupts the phantom signals and importantly don’t dwell on them… phantoms are not real. When I was in a socket and got some phantoms, I would kick my socket, this did the same things as slapping my stump. Ps I did suffer very badly in the start, so know how much it hurts. It’s not real, it’s not real). Own your stump, and ignore as best you can. Hope this helps
Never taken pain meds not even after surgery, when i get phantoms i push my non-toes down hold for count of ten relax and repeat. Then i tighten my knee and thigh and pull the non-toes up that one is a little harder to do. But most times i tend to ignore them
hold your stump in one hand put your other hand on top of your head it does help , Also I’ve got a farablock it’s like a grey cotton stump sock that’s got electrodes in it that’s brill , Many years ago they had a trial in Rookwood limb centre only15 people could try them and thank god as my phantom pain was chronic I was one of the lucky ones that sister Deacy picked for the trial thank god I also take amitriptyline and Tegretol slow release to relieve the phantom pain
Mirror therapy twice a day for 20 minutes each time. Took about 4 weeks to start working but once it did I haven’t looked back. I’ve been off all meds since around 6 months post op and can’t recommend it enough, but you need to commit to it and stick at it. For me it’s worked amazingly, it’s not a quick fix but it’s worth the effort you put in.
An ice pack on my stump works most of the time for me!
I tend to use heat as it works for me, many times I have got into a hot bath to try and get rid of the pains
I alternate ice & heat now. I also initially found the method of shutting my eyes & first rotating the ankle that’s still there in one direction then the other way (I’m lbk) followed by doing the same on the amputated side, trying to rotate the ankle that wasn’t there. It felt very strange at first but the pain turned to a slight tingle as the signals to the brain were tricked. Hope that helps.
For the first month or so after my amputation (LBKA) I had this awful crampy feeling in my ‘toes’. They felt as if they were being crushed underneath my foot, as if they were in a shoe that was much too small, it really was awful. I watched some YouTube videos on mirror therapy and thought I had nothing to lose (I can’t take strong pain meds as I’m allergic to morphine and just don’t react well to medication in general). My husband bought me a cheap rectangular mirror and I did mirror therapy twice a day for at least 20 minutes each time and after about 4 weeks I started to feel as if I could uncurl my toes. Now when I get occasional phantom pain that’s bad, a couple of sessions with the mirror usually sorts it out. I’m off all meds’ and get phantom sensation most of the time but it doesn’t really bother me. I get phantom pains and crampy feeling usually when I’m tired but I wouldn’t say they were bad.
I often recommend mirror therapy to people I meet at my limb centre as phantom pain seems to be a problem for a lot of amputees and many people I mention it to say that yeah, they tried it a few times and it didn’t work. I think for it to work you have to commit to it and really stick at it. For me, it was definitely worth it in the end and I really thought it was doing nothing at all for ages.
I get Crampy feeling in My Arm end, don’t give me all that “it’s not the same as a Leg”…..but if it’s not being used 100% You expect it…it’s the new Status Quo (no not the Band ! 🙂 ) If (in a previous existence) You sat with Your legs crossed for a long period of Time – You’d get cramp. Like Julie Francis said Mirror Therapy helps. …..LOADS of stretching exercises – the Tendons and Ligaments shrink with Lack of Use. Think how Cats and Babies stretch themselves…it’s that easy. Be positive and don’t see ‘Physio’ as a chore, integrate it with Your normal routine – whilst the kettle boils or something. Understand that it will never feel exactly the same as the ‘other one’ because it never will, it’s not Built the same any more 🙂 but as You recognise the new ‘feeling’ that it now the Norm then You know that anything on top of that might be worth keeping an eye on mentioning to someone. It isn’t all Doom and Gloom