Since then research has shown that complex regional pain syndrome and other chronic pains can be relieved by looking at the mirror image of the corresponding painful body part.
In Australia there is a great deal of interest with mirror therapy becoming more widely accepted as treatment for chronic pain in particular for the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome.
In 2004 thirteen chronic CRPS1 patients were given two weeks each of a hand laterality recognition task, imagined hand movements and mirror therapy. The results upheld their hypothesis. Dr Moseley was involved in a much larger study in 2006 at Oxford University in the UK. Their conclusion was that Motor imagery using mirrors reduced pain and disability in patients with complex regional pain syndrome type I or phantom limb pain, but the mechanism, or mechanisms, of the effect are not clear.
Dr Lorimer Moseley and David Butler have written an excellent book which examines this novel approach to pain management, "Explain Pain". The Neuro-orthopeadic Institute of Australasia, NOI Group, was formed to support therapists here, in the USA and in Europe. If interested go to the left of this blog and click on the link under crps/rsd related articles.
In the UK doctors, such as Dr Candy MacCabe of the University of Bath's School for Health, and Dr Ilan Lieberman, a Consultant doctor specialising in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia at the University Hospital of South Manchester in England, have been able to alleviate the pain of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome using a simple mirror box.
In 2003 D MacCabe first described the use of this therapy for CRPS . She showed that mirror visual feedback (MVF) relieved pain significantly, and normalised temperature changes in the affected limb.
This 'cortical' model of pain suggests that the brain's image of the body can become faulty, resulting in a mismatch between the brain's movement control systems and its sensory systems, causing a person to experience pain when they move a particular hand, foot or limb.
Researchers believe that this kind of problem could be behind a host of pain-related disorders, such as complex regional pain syndrome and repetitive strain injury.
More good evidence for the use of mirror therapy to alleviate pain and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome.