New Rochelle, NY — Chronic pain due to disease or injury is common, and even prescription pain medications cannot provide acceptable pain relief for many individuals.
Virtual reality as a means of distraction, inducing positive emotions, or creating the perception of “swapping” a limb or bodily area affected by chronic pain in a virtual environment can be a powerful therapeutic tool, as described in several articles in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The articles are available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.
Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN and coauthors Kenneth Gao, Camelia Sulea, MD, and Mark Wiederhold, MD, PhD, FACP from the Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium and Virtual Reality Medical Center, San Diego, CA, created pleasant virtual experiences that patients could navigate through in simulated worlds to distract them from pain. They report both the patients’ subjective ratings of relief and how those compared to physiological measurements to assess pain responses in the article “Virtual Reality as a Distraction Technique in Chronic Pain Patients.”
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