Post-amputation pain occurs in thousands of people in the United States, typically as either phantom limb or residual limb pain.
Phantom limb pain is a pain felt by people in the area where the limb used to be, even though the limb is no longer a part of the body. Residual limb (stump) pain is commonly located at the end of the residual limb where the limb was removed. Both types of pain are commonly described as “sharp,” “burning,” “electric-like,” or “skin-sensitive” and can be intense.
Doctors and other medical professionals are currently exploring whether small electrical pulses applied to specific areas of the residual limb can reduce this pain. Electrical stimulation is currently used in many medical devices such as pacemakers, where small pulses of electricity are sent to different parts of the body to improve its function.
The device being researched in this study requires no surgery or hospitalization. Importantly, the results of this study will help doctors better understand this pain in the hopes of developing systems to provide future patients with relief.