Socks with Umbrellan technology may reduce phantom limb pain

NEW ORLEANS — A study of the use of socks with Umbrellan technology to treat phantom limb pain showed a decrease in pain for the majority of patients, according to data presented at the American Association of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting, here.

Laura Freeman, CO, board eligible prosthetist, of Comprehensive Prosthetist and Orthotics, studied the use of a sock using Umbrellan technology to affect phantom limb pain in 8 amputees who ranged in age from 22 years to 65 years. Umbrellan is a knitted fabric material created by German company medi that combines elasticity with an electromagnetic screen and is woven into the sock liner.

Laura Freeman


“The purpose of my study was to determine if the medipro RELAX Night Care sock with Umbrellan technology was effective in reducing nighttime phantom limb pain,” Freeman said.

Patients filled out a pre-sock questionnaire and then kept daily records while wearing the sock for 3 weeks; going without the sock for 3 weeks; and wearing it again for 3 weeks. They then filled out a questionnaire at the end of the 9-week period. After making a decision about whether to continue wearing the sock, participants completed another questionnaire 4 months later.

Daily logs used a numeric rating scale to measure the intensity of phantom limb pain at 3 points each day.

The results of the logs showed 6 patients experienced reduced phantom limb pain; 1 patient had phantom limb pain equal to pre-study levels; and 1 patient experienced increased phantom limb pain. However, qualitative data from the questionnaires showed a meaningful reduction in phantom limb pain for 100% of the amputees.

 “RELAX Night Care is appropriate in reducing nighttime pain when used on the appropriate candidate the majority of time,” Freeman said, adding that the results have clinical application because 80% to 85% of patients will encounter phantom limb pain at some point after amputation.  — by Amanda Alexander


Freeman. The effect of Umbrellan technology on nighttime phantom limb pain. Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium; Feb. 18-21, 2015; New Orleans.

Disclosure: Freeman reported no relevant financial disclosures. Medi provided the socks used in the study.

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