CAN AN AMPUTATED HAND STILL HURT?
When a surgeon has to amputate a limb, the body part is gone— but not for our brain: Around three out of four amputees can still feel phantom pain after the operation. Those affected might, for example, feel a clenched fist even though they no longer have a hand. Why? The brain compensates for the absence of signals with pain. One way therapists can treat this is with a mirror: The visual impression of lacking a hand is conveyed to the brain, which then realizes the substitute pain is superfluous.