Could VR Help With Chronic Back Pain?

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Not only is chronic pain one of the top reasons adults seek out medical care, but it has been linked to anxiety, depression, mobility restrictions, and dependence on certain medications. If you are dealing with chronic back pain, you may be looking for different treatments to manage your day-to-day activities. One treatment you may want to look into is prescription-based or at-home virtual reality (VR) devices. Read on to learn more about this treatment and how it can help.

How Does it Work?

VR devices that are used for chronic pain incorporate elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), where patients learn how to shift negative behaviors and beliefs to more positive ones. The VR devices can help patients practice mindful mediation, visualization, and self-compassion. Some devices contain biofeedback sensors so that patients can identify and respond to triggers that may exacerbate pain.

What do Studies Say?

One study found that VR treatments could reduce both acute and chronic pain; but because this technology is so new, the study said that there is insufficient evidence to support lasting relief. However, the FDA recently authorized a VR system and reported that at the end of a treatment study, that more participants reported a reduction in pain after VR usage. Of the group that used the VR treatment, 46% reported a greater than 50% reduction in pain, while the control group only reported a 26% reduction. While more research needs to be conducted, these studies show promising results.

Is VR a Good Fit for You?

You'll want to reach out to your doctor before you invest in at-home therapeutic VR to make sure it's a good fit for your needs. If you suffer from vertigo or get motion sickness easily, then VR may not be a good fit for you. Some patients may experience some discomfort with the headset, so your doctor may need to help you custom-fit the device or prescribe a limit to its daily use.

If you struggle with adhering to other treatments, like gentle exercise, VR devices can be a good fit since they help patients with accountability and self-regulatory techniques. If you are looking for psychological treatment to help manage your chronic pain, but can't find a good therapist, these devices can be beneficial since you can direct your therapy at home. Lastly, if you are trying to avoid developing a dependence on medication or have built a tolerance to analgesics, VR devices could potentially be a good option to treat your chronic pain.

Reach out to a medical equipment supplier, such as AppliedVR, today for more information.