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How Can Virtual Reality Help People With Chronic Pain?

Pain can be difficult to deal with, especially when it's chronic. People try many methods of pain relief, often with limited success. New therapeutic techniques can offer pain management without the side effects of medication. One such technique is virtual reality therapy.

Virtual reality utilizes technology to immerse patients in a virtual setting using VR goggles and earphones. VR pain management can be used at home and in clinical settings. Here are four ways that virtual reality can be used to help people manage their pain:

1. Immerse patients in serene settings.

Virtual reality can make patients feel like they're on a sandy beach or in a quiet forest. These serene settings can help patients reduce their stress levels and enjoy beautiful, natural sights and sounds. VR technology can be especially helpful for patients whose pain makes it difficult for them to travel. With VR technology, many of the healing benefits of nature can be accessed indoors.

2. Offer suitable distractions.

Pain is often all-encompassing, taking up all of a person's focus. Unfortunately, focusing on pain can make it feel even more severe. That's why distractions can be valuable tools when it comes to pain management. VR technology can offer healthy distractions for patients with chronic pain. Regular participation in therapeutic VR programs will encourage patients to direct their attention away from what ails them.

3. Provide patients with therapeutic tools.

VR for pain management can also provide patients with therapeutic tools to bolster their mental health. Mindfulness meditation is a powerful way to make peace with present circumstances. Unfortunately, meditation can seem out of reach for people who have never experienced it. VR programs can provide guided meditation sessions that patients can use at home. These meditation sessions can be used regularly to help patients develop their inner peace. They can also be used during flare-ups to provide extra pain relief. VR guided meditation sessions can be especially helpful for people who are unable to access more traditional forms of therapy.

4. Reduce reliance on opioid medication.

Finally, VR therapy can help people reduce their reliance on opioid medication, a class of drugs commonly prescribed for severe and chronic pain. Unfortunately, people who take opioid medication for long periods become dependent on these drugs. The use of VR technology can provide patients with a viable alternative. With the approval of their doctors, patients can cut down on their opioid dosage after finding a VR regime that works for them. 

To learn more, contact a local company that offers these services.