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The Stochastic Entanglement and Phantom Motor Execution Hypotheses: A Theoretical Framework for the Origin and Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain

By Kirstin Ahmed

The underlying mechanism of phantom limb pain (PLP) is poorly understood. This article discusses PLP in relation to available clinical findings. An alternative hypothesis for PLP is proposed: that the disruption following an amputation result in the pain system becoming coactivated with the sensorimotor system belonging to the missing limb. An implication of this hypothesis is that training of phantom movements through phantom motor execution could disentangle the motor system from pain, resulting in a reduction of PLP.