Mirror visual feedback for the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome (type 1)

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2008 Apr;12(2):103-7. doi: 10.1007/s11916-008-0020-7.


Mirror visual feedback was originally devised as a therapeutic tool to relieve perceived involuntarily movements and paralysis in the phantom limb. Since this pioneering work was conducted in the mid-1990s, the technique has been applied to relieve pain and enhance movement in other chronic conditions such as stroke and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type 1. This review describes how mirror visual feedback was first developed with amputees, its original application in CRPS, and how further research has demonstrated its potential benefit within graded motor imagery programs. We discuss the potential mechanisms behind this technique and consider the implications for clinical practice.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / classification*
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / psychology
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / therapy*
  • Feedback, Psychological* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / instrumentation
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*