Virtual reality has come a long way, and while it is commonly used for video games, it has a wide variety of uses. In fact, the medical field has started using VR to help manage pain in patients with chronic conditions. If you would like to know how VR can help manage your pain, keep reading.
It Blocks Pain Signals
One way VR helps manage pain is by engaging your senses. When you are in a VR world, your visual cortex is stimulated. This can help prevent your brain from processing pain stimuli. Your brain is too focused on trying to understand, process, and comprehend the VR world to fully focus on the pain. Some patients view VR for pain management as a form of hypnosis.
The benefits can continue after you leave the VR world because it gives you more confidence that you can overcome the pain. The FDA has already allowed VR systems to market pain reduction as a benefit, particularly for lower back pain.
It Helps Reduce Stress
Many VR programs that help manage pain also help reduce stress. These applications provide relaxing sounds and visuals. They may also help you by reminding you to breathe deeply. Reducing stress is invaluable for your life. Not only does stress increase the risk of many conditions like heart disease, but stress can also lower your pain threshold.
Stress can also increase the risk of depression or anxiety, which can also lower your pain threshold. The lower your pain threshold, the less you'll be able to do because of your chronic pain. By overcoming stress, you may be able to reduce some of your pain for good, which will let you retake control of your life.
It Helps With Mobility
Pain can make mobility difficult. And limited mobility usually leads to more pain. Many conditions, such as arthritis, need you to move your joints to keep them healthy, but moving them can be painful at first. Since you have less pain in the VR world, you can do more activities and exercises. This allows you to strengthen your joints and muscles without the pain.
When your body is stronger, it takes the stress off those painful joints. This allows you to get more active in the real world.
If you have chronic pain, VR may be a good choice. It can help distract your brain so you aren't focused on the pain as much. If you would like to know more, contact a provider in your area who can manage pain with virtual reality.