Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 103-107

First online:

Mirror visual feedback for the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome (type 1)

  • Candida S. McCabeAffiliated withThe Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases Email author 
  • , Richard C. Haigh
  • , David R. Blake

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Mirror visual feedback was originally devised as a therapeutic tool to relieve perceived involuntarily movements and paralysis in the phantom limb. Since this pioneering work was conducted in the mid-1990s, the technique has been applied to relieve pain and enhance movement in other chronic conditions such as stroke and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type 1. This review describes how mirror visual feedback was first developed with amputees, its original application in CRPS, and how further research has demonstrated its potential benefit within graded motor imagery programs. We discuss the potential mechanisms behind this technique and consider the implications for clinical practice.