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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Can Virtual Reality Relieve Pain?

Can Virtual Reality Relieve Pain?

Virtual reality could help tackle acute pain, a new study has found. Could doctors soon start prescribing video games?

Edmund Keogh | April 5, 2016

The next time you habitually search your bathroom cabinet for some pain medication, you may want to consider playing a video game first. Research has shown that psychology plays an important part in how we experience both acute and chronic pain -- and that painful sensations can be manipulated by what we think and feel.
Such approaches to pain relief are looking increasingly promising thanks to rapid advances in technology. Virtual reality games are already showing promise in tackling acute pain, seemingly by simply helping us focus on other things. Now a new study has shed some light on how this might work and how it could be improved in the future.

"Virtual reality for pain management." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (+Video) (Virtual Reality for Pain Management) and (A rapid evidence assessment of immersive virtual reality as an adjunct therapy in acute pain management in clinical practice. B. Garrett, T. Taverner, W. Masinde, D. Gromala, C.Shaw, M. Negraeff. Clin J Pain. 2014 Dec;30(12):1089-98. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000064. [Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Immersive virtual reality (IVR) therapy has been explored as an adjunct therapy for the management of acute pain among children and adults for several conditions. Therapeutic approaches have traditionally involved medication and physiotherapy but such approaches are limited over time by their cost and side effects. This review seeks to critically evaluate the evidence for and against IVR as an adjunctive therapy for acute clinical pain applications. METHODS: A rapid evidence assessment (REA) strategy was used. CINAHL, Medline, Web of Science, IEEE Xplore Digital Library, and the Cochrane Library databases were screened in from December 2012 to March 2013 to identify studies exploring IVR therapies as an intervention to assist in the management of pain. Main outcome measures were for acute pain and functional impairment. RESULTS: Seventeen research studies were included in total including 5 RCTs, 6 randomized crossover studies, 2 case series studies, and 4 single-patient case studies. This included a total of 337 patients. Of these studies only 4 had a low risk of bias. There was strong overall evidence for immediate and short-term pain reduction, whereas moderate evidence was found for short-term effects on physical function. Little evidence exists for longer-term benefits. IVR was not associated with any serious adverse events. DISCUSSION: This review found moderate evidence for the reduction of pain and functional impairment after IVR in patients with acute pain. Further high-quality studies are required for the conclusive judgment of its effectiveness in acute pain, to establish potential benefits for chronic pain, and for safety.])>

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