Mirror Therapy

Mirror therapy has many implications for therapy and can be used to treat many diagnoses that commonly involve the upper extremity. These include some of the Neuro Conditions we highlighted last week including, Stroke and Focal Hand Dystonia. Btw, you can download a mirror therapy exercises pdf here for free.

mirror therapy exercises pdf

How long should the patient perform mirror therapy exercises? Should there be a sequence of routines prior to performing mirror therapy?  There is no simple answer and a wide range of dosing information along with frequency and duration for performing mirror box therapy. 

Despite the variety in rehab regimes for mirror therapy, the majority of them have demonstrated positive effects.  From the studies, a general protocol was developed know as the St. Gallen MT Protocol. The St. Gallen MT Protocol was tested on 52 patients.  Of those, 42 out of 52  patients showed a reduction in pain, improved function, and no phantom sensations.  

Here are some key highlights from the studies and the St. Gallen MT Protocol.  

Keys to using mirror therapy in treatment

  • Explain clearly how mirror therapy works, the patient must have the buy-in
  • Perform mirror therapy in a quiet environment
  • Set up a home program using mirror therapy (mirror therapy boxes) can be made out of cardboard boxes by gluing a handheld mirror on the side or you can fabricate a wooden one for under $15 (see below video below).
  • Utilize a patient log for tracking mirror therapy exercises. 
  • Review patient log at follow-up therapy visits

Duration 

  • Home Program must be performed 5-6x/day,
  • Each session should be  no longer than 5-10 minutes 
  • Adapt exercise based on diagnosis

Grunert-Pluss, N., Hugschmid, U., & Santschi, L. (2008). Mirror therapy in hand rehabilitation: A review of the literature, the st gallen protocol for mirror therapy and evaluation of a case series of 52 patients, 13, 1, 4-11.  

Supply list for making a mirror box (mirror therapy handout)

https://www.handtherapyacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/mirror-box-material-list-.pdf

Video on how to make a mirror box

Leave a Comment






More To Read

Occupation Based Interventions in Hand Therapy

September 24, 2022

Keeping Occupation Based Interventions in Hand Therapy By: Tristany Hightower Are your treatments occupation based? Do you tailor your activity choices to fit the needs of each patient? As occupational therapists, we should be specialists in creating goals and interventions that are directed at returning our patients to meaningful occupations.  Too often, hand therapy can…

Read More

What? I just received an order for suture removal…

April 21, 2019

How many of us have practiced suture removal in occupational or physical therapy school??  NOT I!! Often, hand surgeons will ask the therapist to remove sutures and sometimes the order will even say “remove sutures when ready”  SO NOW WHAT? How to remove continuous sutures? First, we can cover the basics of sutures! There are…

Read More

Hand Therapy: How to Treat the Client with a New Distal Radius Fracture

May 5, 2019

A short blog post on the basics of treating a Distal Radius Fracture.

Read More
Envelope_1

Sign-up to Get Updates Straight to Your Inbox!

Sign up with us and we will send you regular blog posts on everything hand therapy, notices every time we upload new videos and tutorials, along with handout, protocols, and other useful information.