Saturday, June 30, 2007

Recognize - tell you left hand from your right.

How to Cope with Pain website recently posted about Noi Group's limb laterality recognition program, "Recognize". The article gives links to research supporting the programs use. It is thought that a three step process of limb laterality recognition, followed by guided visualization and then mirror visual therapy gives optimum results.

I did not follow this process and began mirror therapy without the first two steps. However I've always performed physical therapy on both sides.

I have used the Recognize program more recently as I hoped it would help me with left/right recognition. I score poorly with the program tests in the most basic level. However I score much better with the more difficult levels where the hand or foot is in some kind of context. No amount of practising improves things for me.

Yesterday, after reading HTCWP's article I tried the Recognize program again. I was feeling good because I've just resolved a left sided flare up using mirror therapy again.
I also was thinking that I might do better at it as I was in much less pain.

Unfortunately this was not the case and within minutes of starting the test I experienced a major flare up in the same side as I'd just resolved. I stopped doing the test (after a couple of goes) and things settled slightly. A while later I started looking at my hands and saying "left" or "right" to myself. This caused the symptoms to worsen to a nauseating level.
Again I stopped. After a while I did mirror therapy again and with time the symptoms went.

The message for me is clear and is as my Ayurvedic doctor has said. Pain becomes worse when I focus on the area of pain. Doing the program was also stressful. I'm thinking that stress combined with memoey of pain brought on a a quickly catastrophizing set of symptoms. Taking my attention to other things helped ease the symptoms. Mirror therapy resolved them.

I wish to point out that this is what happened to me with my unique set of circumstances. It does not reflect on what could happen to someone else. It is also to be remembered I used the program after using mirror therapy(which works), and not before as has been suggested.

There is a link to the article in HTCWP to the left of this blog under "crps/rsd related articles".

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