We are starting to see more and more information coming about the impact of using virtual reality (VR) to address chronic pain.
That latest is from a company called Karuna Labs which is touting a small study that it says show evidence that visual feedback in VR can influence the function of limbs affected by chronic pain.
Patients with chronic shoulder pain have the potential to experience improved range of motion using mirroring techniques in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment, according to a new study. The findings come from Karuna Labs, creator of personalized functional restoration and chronic pain management programs using VR technology to retrain the brain.
Karuna Labs performed the study to measure the effects on patients using its Virtual Embodiment TherapyTM technology, which applies graded Motor Imagery, corrective exercises from physical therapy which focus on performing activities of daily living and real-time position tracking.
“The first thing in any session that a patient does or sees is related to educating them on how chronic pain works. We heard from clinicians all across the board that they see the best outcomes when patients actually know how pain works in their brains and their bodies. They are able to consciously digest the information and move in the right direction,” according to Karuna COO Jon Weinberg.
The study evaluated 15 patients with chronic shoulder pain and measured range of motion on three planes for each arm: shoulder flexion (arms straight above the head), shoulder scaption (arms out to the sides), and shoulder abduction (arms straight out and away from the body).
“These study results using our proprietary VR technology have immense implications for rehabilitation in patients suffering from chronic pain,” said Lincoln Nguyen, Karuna CEO.
“Most patients today are interested in reducing their need for pharmaceuticals, and VR appears to provide a pleasant, low-risk, easily tolerated, on-demand option for pain relief,” Dr. Beth Darnall, a pain management specialist at Stanford Health Care, told Healthline.
The study provides evidence that Mirror Visual Feedback (MVF), originally developed to help with neuropathic pain, in VR can influence the function of a non-affected limb if a patient perceives that function as occurring in a painful limb.
The Company also believes these results may lead to greater knowledge of the mechanisms by which MVF can relieve chronic pain in additional areas.
Have you tried Virtual Reality?
Are you willing to?
Let us know in the comments section.