Stroke, complex regional pain syndrome and phantom limb pain: can commonalities direct future management?

J Rehabil Med. 2007 Mar;39(2):109-14. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0027.


Despite being different conditions, complex regional pain syndrome type 1, phantom limb pain and stroke share some potentially important similarities. This report examines experimental and clinical findings from each patient population. It identifies common aspects of symptomatic presentation, sensory phenomena and patterns of cortical reorganization. Based on these common findings, we argue that established principles of stroke rehabilitation are also applicable to rehabilitation of complex regional pain syndrome type 1 and phantom limb pain. In addition, we contend that promising treatment approaches for complex regional pain syndrome type 1 and phantom limb pain may be helpful in stroke rehabilitation. Examples of emerging supportive evidence for these hypotheses are provided and discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Exercise Movement Techniques
  • Humans
  • Imagination / physiology
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Phantom Limb / diagnosis
  • Phantom Limb / physiopathology
  • Phantom Limb / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Recovery of Function
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / diagnosis
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / physiopathology
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / rehabilitation*
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*