Losing a limb in a workplace accident can change your life forever. It impacts your ability to work in your desired career, it makes it harder to enjoy your hobbies, and you may lose uncountable skills — playing certain sports, driving a car, etc. Even after the injury has healed, your life is no longer the same.
One issue that some people find themselves dealing with is phantom limb pain (PLP). What is this and why does it happen?
How can you feel pain in a body part that isn’t there?
Phantom limb pain, as you may have guessed, is pain in your missing limb. For instance, you may have pain in your right hand, even though you lost your right arm at the elbow. There is no hand there to be in pain, but you still feel it as though there was. This can be very disconcerting and even traumatizing — and the pain is real.
Typically, this happens because of mixed signals within the brain. Pain, after all, is just the way that your brain interprets the electrical impulses from that area. In amputation cases, your brain can still think that it is receiving signals from that area, despite the fact that the ends of those nerves are gone.
This is a serious issue that can impact your quality of life immensely. It’s also something that those experiencing it are slow to talk about. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t had it, and amputees often feel like they’re alone. As such, it’s important to note that 80% of amputees have this happen. It’s incredibly common.
What are your options when an amputation has left you disabled?
After a serious workplace injury that alters your life, be sure you know what legal options you have. Workers’ compensation benefits can cover some of your losses — and you may have other options. An experienced attorney can help you learn more.