Mirror box therapy added to cognitive behavioural therapy in three chronic complex regional pain syndrome type I patients: a pilot study


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Abstract

Complex regional pain syndrome type I is a disorder of the extremities with disability and pain as the most prominent features. This paper describes the results of cognitive behavioural therapy combined with mirror box therapy in three patients with chronic complex regional pain syndrome type I. Before, during and at follow-up the following measurements were assessed: pain (visual analogue scale, 0–100), range of motion, muscle strength, and the areas of allodynia and of hyperalgesia. Furthermore, patients were asked for their feelings and thoughts about mirror box therapy and about the affected limb. Pain at rest, pain after measuring allodynia/hyperalgesia and pain after measuring strength decreased. Range of motion improved in two patients. Strength improved in one patient. The area of hyperalgesia increased for all three patients, whereas the area of allodynia remained stable in two patients and decreased in one patient. Two patients felt that their affected limb still belonged to them, one did not. Cognitive behavioural therapy combined with mirror box therapy for patients with chronic complex regional pain syndrome type I may facilitate rehabilitation. Measuring whether the affected limb still belongs in the patient's body scheme could be of prognostic value in the treatment of chronic complex regional pain syndrome type I patients.

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