Mirror therapy is a type of rehabilitation therapy intended to help affected limbs move more efficiently. Cells in your brain called mirror neurons fire when you see movement. Through neuroplasticity your brain can be “tricked” into helping affected limbs move when these neurons fire while the individual attempts to move their affected limb.
This practice is common for returning mobility to limbs after a stroke or suffer from phantom limb pain due to an amputation. This simple treatment is easy to take advantage of for people of all ages and abilities.
- Drug Free (no opioid addiction!)
- Easy To Perform & Accessible Exercises
- Treat Phantom Limb Pain
- Post-Stroke Rehabilitation
Mirror Therapy for Treatment of Phantom Limb or Stroke in Ottawa
How does Mirror Therapy work? It has been shown to increase cortical and spinal motor excitability, having an the 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.).
In cases of phantom limb, where a patient who has gone through amputation is experiencing pain in an area that actually no longer exists, mirror therapy has proven quite effective. It has the potential to mitigate pain where other forms of therapy (medication, nerve block, surgery, etc.) may not have. The patient sits with a mirror facing the remaining leg, moves the remaining leg and watches the reflection in the mirror – this way both the existing leg and the amputated leg appear to be moving.
For stroke patients, mirror therapy has demonstrated improved movement of the affected upper and lower limb. This is a major step after a stroke, helping to restore vitality and dignity by increasing one’s ability to carry out daily activities. It has also proven to reduce pain for certain stroke patients. Talk to us to find out more about how mirror therapy could help you.