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Mirror therapy

Mirror therapy is a relatively new form of treatment which uses the principles of visual feedback in rehabilitation of a patient following injury or surgery at the foot and lower limb.

What is mirror therapy?

Mirror therapy is a form of rehabilitation which uses a mirror to provide visual feedback in order to improve motor function and rewire the brain following an injury or to treat conditions of the foot and lower limb.

Therapy involves placing a mirror parallel to the affected limb blocking the patient's view of that limb so that they only see the reflection of the unaffected side. This gives the impression that the actions of the healthy limb are in fact those of the injured limb and that this limb is functioning normally.

What podiatry-related conditions can mirror therapy help with?

Mirror therapy can be used in the treatment of many injuries or conditions related to podiatry including;

  • Pain related to arthritis
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Rehabilitation following surgery
  • Drop foot
  • Injury to the foot and ankle

How does mirror therapy work?

Mirror therapy works on the principle of visual feedback. It tricks the brain into thinking that a limb with limited mobility is in fact healthy. When the foot or lower limb becomes immobile due to injury or disease, the communication system between the brain and the limb can become impaired. The visual feedback which occurs during mirror therapy leads to stimulation of sensory or cognitive pathways which can affect the limbs actions or decrease the amount of pain experienced.

What are the benefits of mirror therapy?

The following are some of the benefits associated with mirror therapy;

  • It is a safe, non-invasive form of treatment
  • It can remove the need for drug and/or surgical intervention into treatment plans.
  • Improves patient morale
  • Faster return to normal activity
  • Provides relief from pain
  • Improves function
  • Strengthen the connection between brain and foot

Similar treatments / services that could help?

Other treatments that could be used in the rehabilitation process of some injuries or conditions include;

  • Education and advice from our podiatrists regarding your presenting problem
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Mobilising exercises
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