View Full Version : Pain study points to a mirror image

Apr 2, 2004, 08:08 PM
For more than a century, doctors have reported cases of a mysterious phenomenon: When a patient's arm or leg was injured, the opposite limb would sometimes feel chronic pain, as well.

Now, Massachusets General Hospital research on rats suggests that such opposite-limb symptoms may stem from a previously unrecognized connection of pinpoint accuracy between the nerves on one side of the body and the mirror-image spot on the other side.

The research provides the "first conclusive proof" that trauma on one side of the body can cause opposite-side nerve damage, said Dr. Gary J. Bennett of McGill University in Montreal, a leading pain specialist who was not involved in the research. "There's no precedent for this; it's a completely out-of-the-blue discovery."


Apr 3, 2004, 12:28 AM
Sweet! Kinda makes sense, though, that each mirror region would be controlled by the same brain function (or whatever, bad on terminology, he he).

Apr 3, 2004, 01:54 PM
I don't remember taking care of any patients complaining of mirror image as described. There is referred pain, such as pain in the leg caused by a pinched nerve in the spine. Many types of referred pain are very diagnostic for physicians. The other common similarity is phantom pain. A patient has an amputation of a limb for whatever reason, but they continue to complain of pain in that limb after surgery.