Mirror Therapy & Stroke

Reference:Thieme H, et al Mirror therapy for improving motor function after stroke. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Mar 14;3

The research behind mirror therapy has grown amazingly in the past few years. What is mirror therapy? A mirror is placed in the mid-sagittal plane of the patient, with the reflective side facing the unaffected half of the patient?s body.

In simple terms, the patient is asked to move the asymptomatic limb and simultaneously look in the mirror which looks as if the effected side is moving ?therefore ?fooling? the brain, or better said potentially changing cortical representation.

The Question: Is mirror therapy effective in improving motor function, ADL, pain and visuospatial neglect post stroke?

The Answer: After analysing 14 RCTs and 567 patients after stroke, the Cochrane database conclusion is that in conjunction with normal rehab, mirror therapy is effective for improving upper extremity motor function, ADL and pain but did not improve visuospatial neglect.

Personal Comment: I don?t even treat stroke patients so why am I interested in mirror therapy? I am interested as this may be a fantastic treatment alternative for helping patients with persistent pain / central sensitization who require changes to occur in their cortex …read the next article on Mirror Therapy!

Posted on: July 05, 2012

Categories: Fascinating Pain Studies

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