Mirror Box Therapy for CRPS Management at Reclaim Physiotherapy

Example of mirror box therapy in the clinic. Patient is use a ball for sensory and motor feedback while affected hand is behind the mirror.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS) is a condition that is challenging to manage and treat and is characterized by severe, persistent pain. At Reclaim Physiotherapy, we understand the challenges our patients face with CRPS and are always seeking innovative treatments to ease symptoms and discomfort. One promising technique is mirror box therapy – which has shown impressive results in managing CRPS pain and disability.

Understanding CRPS

CRPS is a chronic pain condition most often affecting one of the limbs (arms, legs, hands, or feet), usually after an injury or surgery. The pain is disproportionate to the severity of the initial injury. Symptoms include:

  • intense burning or throbbing pain
  • sensitivity to touch or cold
  • swelling and stiffness in affected joints
  • changes in skin temperature and colour

Effective management strategies are crucial for improving quality of life for those living with CRPS.

What is Mirror Box Therapy?


Mirror box therapy is a form of therapy that uses a box with a mirror in the centre. The patient places the affected limb inside the box and the mirror reflects the image of the other, healthy limb. this creates a visual illusion, making the patient think they have two normal limbs. The therapy taps in to the brain’s ability to rewire itself (AKA neuroplasticity), potentially easing pain and improving movement in the affected limb.

Benefits of Mirror Box Therapy for CRPS

Mirror box therapy can offer several benefits for people suffering from CRPS, including:

  • reduction in pain leveles
  • improved mobility in the affected limb
  • decrease in swelling and changes in skin condition

Mirror Box Therapy at Reclaim Physiotherapy

At Reclaim Physiotherapy, our Pain Physiotherapist specializes in the application of mirror box therapy and other graded motor imagery therapies for CRPS. We personalize each treatment plan, integrating this therapy into your program.

What to Expect During Therapy

During a mirror box therapy session, you will:

  1. Place the affected limb inside the box.
  2. Perform specific movements with the unaffected limb while watching the reflection in the mirror.
  3. Gradually, try to mimic these movements with the affected limb.

Session duration is flexible in nature depending on individual ability. You may be asked to bring in items from home such as bracelets, watches, shoes etc.

Complementary Therapies and Holistic Approach

In addition to mirror box therapy, we offer a range of complementary therapies such as exercise therapy, pian education, and relaxation techniques to provide a holistic approach to pain management.

Mirror box therapy is a promising and innovative way to manage CRPS. At Reclaim Physiotherapy, we are committed to offering the lates and most effective treatments to help our patients live pain-free lives.

If you or a loved one is struggling with CRPS, contact us at Reclaim Physiotherapy today to learn more about how mirror box therapy can help. Call us at 0429 326 738 or visit our website at https://www.reclaimphysio.com.au to book a consultation.


Q: Is mirror box therapy painful?

A: It shouldn’t be. It is a non-invasive and low-risk treatment. If you experience pain during therapy, the program will be adjusted to ensure comfort.

Q: How long does it take to see results from mirror box therapy?

A: Results vary between individuals. Some people report an improvement in symptoms immediately when using the mirror box, other patients report improvements within a few weeks. Treatment is most effective when also practiced outside the clinic.

Q: Can mirror box therapy cure CRPS?

A: It cannot cure CRPS, however, it can improve symptoms and restore quality of life. Particularly when used in conjunction with exercise, pain education and mindfulness practices.

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