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Phantom Pain Mystery

Phantom Pain Mystery - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

Phantom pains are caused when an amputee feels pains like squeezing, warmth and itching from a missing limb. Read more about phantom pain syndrome and sensations.

After a person's limb has been amputated, some amputees experience phantom sensations that seem to be coming from the missing body part. If the feeling is intense enough, these sensations are called phantom pains or phantom limb syndrome. About 50-80% of people who've had an amputation experience phantom limb syndrome.

Phantom pains can also happen to people who are born without limbs and people who're paralyzed. A phantom sensation is when a person feels that their missing limb is still attached to the body and moves appropriately with other body parts. An example of this is one man who had both his arms amputated but he insisted he could still feel his arms swing when he walked. Phantom pains happen when the missing limb causes discomfort. The "pain" doesn't usually hurt but it is intense enough to be considered painful which is why it's called "phantom pains." Some of the feelings include warmth, cold, itching, squeezing and burning. The "pain" can be frequent or only once a year, if at all.

Many doctors feel that phantom limb syndrome is all in a person's head. However, one of the oldest and most common beliefs for what causes phantom pains are the cut nerve endings in the stump. The cut nerve endings keep generating impulses which flow through the spinal cord into the brain. However, this is only one theory and research is still being done to find out what causes phantom pains.


Try This

Want to trick your mind into thinking your nose is super long? Get two friends to blindfold you while you sit on a chair behind friend one. Friend two guides your index finger of your right hand to friend one's nose. Now keep tapping friend one's nose with your index finger. At the same time, have friend two tap your nose with her index finger exactly the same way you're tapping. After 30 to 40 seconds, your nose will feel a foot longer.

Did your nose grow? Tell us about it. Do you experience phantom pains or phantom sensations? Have any comments or thoughts about phantom pains?

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    What Phantom Pain Would Drive You Crazy?

    • The itching would make me crazy.
    • I would hate the squeezing the most.
    • The burning sensation would drive me up the wall.
    • The cold would be the worst.

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