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RSD TREATMENT: MIRROR BOX THERAPY

October 10, 2010

Mirror Box Therapy (MBT) is based on the principal of Neuroplasticity, or the ability of the brain to rewire or “fix” itself. Pain is used by the body to stop you from using an injured part while it heals or to let you know that there is damage present. But we all know that in Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / Chronic Regional Pain syndrome, there is huge problem when the pain not only doesn’t stop with healing but continues to get worse and now becomes the cause of damage.

The first time I even heard about mirror Box Therapy was on an episode of House. It was a very dramatic scene involving a phantom limb sufferer (See video below).

Immediately after watching this episode I thought about my Brother and every other person afflicted with RSD / CRPS. Could this therapy technique help them in some way? Well the jury is still out on this subject it seems but there is a lot of information showing up online about RSD / CRPS and mirror box therapy. I did find one study that supports this therapy in the initial and intermediate stages of the disease here. As time moves along I am hopeful to find more information and research about mirror box therapy and more personal accounts using this technique. In the meantime here are some things to think about and ideas for you or your family member to try and help yourself.

The Neurotopian is a blog written by a physiotherapist and here are his links to some great information about MBT:

The Neurotopian (Blog): Mirror Box Therapy part 1.
The Neurotopian (Blog): Mirror Box Therapy part 2.
The Neurotopian (Blog): Mirror Box Therapy part 3.
The Neurotopian (Blog): Mirror Box Therapy part 4.

Here Dr. David Butler explains more about MBT on behalf of the Neuro Orthopaedic Institute Australia (NOI group).

Also here is a link to a NOI pamplet explaining ways to use mirror box therapy

Finally, here are some videos from Dr. Ilan Lieberman in the UK. I think he is an Anesthesiologist (remember to try and backup any information you find online). The only thing I want to say before you view his videos is that you DO NOT have to buy his mirror boxes you can make your own easily.

I think this is enough Mirror Box info for now 🙂  I do have some questions that I would love answered however.  Can this therapy do more harm? And also some say not to move the “injured” limb at first and some say you have to move it when the good one moves.  It’s all a bit confusing but I know that many RSD / CRPS peeps are at a place where they have no where else to turn and maybe this alternative treatment can help at least lower the pain levels.  Good luck everyone and PLEASE make comments on your Mirror Box Therapy journey.  Remember, shared knowledge helps with the fight.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Patty Conrad permalink
    March 9, 2012 11:38 pm

    Hi, I am very esxcited about mirror therapy. I believe it can work. I have watched and read lots of the info on MT and I did ocassionally a few years back then kind of went onto other therapies.BUT! I have returned to it. It totally makes sense that we can trick the brain into believing the affected limb is responding to the image of the lesser affected limb. I made one last week and it works great. Just keep increasing the amount of time I spend using it.
    Try it….please!!!

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  1. Terapia espejo Mirror Box para rehabilitar miembros « sonopuntura

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