How Mirror Therapy Helps

Dr. Joseph O.M. Lawrence Provides Mirror Therapy to a patient

For those who suffer from the side effects of a stroke, phantom limb pain, or Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Mirror Therapy can provide much needed relief from your symptoms. Mirror therapy has a number of other titles such as mirror imagery, mirror box therapy, mirror visual feedback, imagery therapy, mirror imagery, mirror exercise, and more. But all of these terms refer to the same therapeutic practice, proven to improve outcomes.

Mirror therapy is a type of rehabilitation therapy intended to help affected limbs move more efficiently. Your brain has neurons called mirror neurons which fire when you see mirroring your own, either in a mirror or by another individual. During treatment, these neurons fire and through neuroplasticity they “trick” your brain into helping affected limbs move while neurons fire as the individual attempts movement.

This evidence-based therapy is common for returning mobility to limbs after a stroke or helping those suffering from phantom limb pain due to an amputation. It also has been shown to relieve the symptoms of CRPS. This simple treatment is non-invasive and easy to take advantage of for people of all ages and abilities. Some benefits include:

  • Drug Free (no opioid addiction!)
  • Easy To Perform
  • & Accessible Exercises
  • Safe
  • Effective

If you think you would benefit from mirror therapy, request an appointment today!


How does Mirror Therapy work? What conditions can it help treat? Mirror Therapy has been shown to increase cortical and spinal motor excitability, which in turn has an effect on the ‘mirror neuron system.’ With the use of a mirror box, the mirror neurons become activated and help in the recovery of the affected parts (e.g. leg, arm, etc.). Here is how this type of treatment can help with the following conditions:

Mirror Therapy for Amputees Phantom limb syndrome is a condition where a patient who has gone through amputation experiences pain in the limb which no longer exists. Mirror therapy has proven quite effective, and has the potential to mitigate pain where other forms of therapy such as medication, nerve blockers, or surgery may not have. The patient sits with a mirror facing the remaining limb, moves it and watches the reflection in the mirror – this way both the existing leg and the amputated leg appear to be moving.

Mirror Therapy for Stroke Mirror therapy has demonstrated improved movement of the affected upper and lower limbs. This is a major step after a stroke, helping to restore vitality and dignity by increasing your ability to carry out daily activities. It has also proven to reduce pain for certain stroke patients.

Mirror Therapy for CRPS Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that typically impacts an arm of a leg after an injury, stroke, or heart attack. In a process similar to that used to treat stroke and phantom limb patients, mirror therapy can help alleviate the pain felt by those suffering from CRPS.

If you think mirror therapy can help you, book an appointment today!

doctor working with patient to improve limb movement
Mirror Box Therapy Session

Mirror Therapy & Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to heal, recover, and rewire after a neurological injury. Therapeutic exercises along with mirror therapy can strengthen neural pathways and create new ones as well. Neuroplasticity is best activated through repetitive stimulus.

After a significant neurological injury, neural pathways can get damaged and in turn impair certain functions of the brain. Mirror therapy has been proven to help improve mobility and aid in neurological recovery. Mirror therapy is extremely helpful in stroke rehabilitation and should be done with a trained therapist – however, you can practice as much as you can at home!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Mirror Therapy is a form of rehabilitation that helps you utilize your limbs more affectively by treating the motor control center of the brain. It has been a proven form of therapy for reducing pain that can be caused by phantom limb, strokes and other issues related to motor control.

If you are interested in learning whether or not Mirror Therapy is the right choice for you, contact us today at 613-728-2929 or book an appointment with us online.

Mirror Therapy can be used to treat a variety of issues related to motor control including: 

  • Strokes
  • Phantom limbs
  • Chronic pain

If you are interested in learning whether or not Mirror Therapy is the right choice for you, contact us today at 613-728-2929 or book an appointment with us online.

When a patient has received an amputation of a limb, it is common to experience what is known as ‘phantom limb’ where there is pain in the area where the limb had once been. Mirror therapy is a proven effective treatment for phantom limb. Mirror Therapy works by providing the motor cortex positive feedback through the visual illusion created by the unaffected limb.

If you are interested in learning whether or not Mirror Therapy is the right choice for you, contact us today at 613-728-2929 or book an appointment with us online.

Mirror Therapy is a form of therapy where the patient is directed to perform a series of movements using the opposing limb that is not affected. The patient watches the movements of the unaffected limb in the mirror which creates a visual illusion for the motor cortex part of the brain.

Mirror neurons are neurons that fire when a person or animal observes the same action performed by another. Mirror neurons have been observed in primates and birds. These mirror neurons fire when we look in a mirror, and through the use of mirror therapy they can help trick the brain into correcting sensory feedback issues stemming from strokes, amputaitons, or CRPS,