Chronic Pain Therapy

Chronic Pain is pain that lasts longer than three months. It’s possible that the pain may be constant or that it will come and go. It can occur in any part of your body.  Chronic pain Therapy delivered through Virtual Reality can treat several mental and physiologic conditions. Chronic Pain Syndrome is difficult to treat, but not impossible.   

CPS has both physical and emotional causes. Some doctors believe that patients with the illness have difficulty with the body’s stress-handling system of nerves and glands. Patients feel pain in a different way as a result of this.  CPS, according to other experts, is a learned reaction. Even when the discomfort has gone or decreased, one may continue to repeat certain harmful habits while you’re in pain.  

VR incorporates several sensory modalities such as sound, touch, and smell to enhance the depth of the experience. This impression is obtained by blocking out ‘real world’ inputs and only seeing and hearing computer-generated stimuli. A combination of therapies such as counselling, physical therapy, and relaxation methods delivered through cutting-edge virtual rehabilitation models such as Recovery VR can help relieve CPS and other symptoms associated with it.   

What is Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS)?  

After an injury heals or disease has run its course, most pain goes away.  Chronic pain syndrome occurs when individuals experience extended pain from a previous injury, even after the person has recovered from said injury.  CPS occurs when there isn’t a recognised cause for the discomfort.   

As per the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health, Chronic pain is a discomfort that can last three to six months or longer if left untreated. About a quarter of people who suffer from chronic pain develop chronic pain syndrome (CPS).   Chronic pain can make it difficult to go about daily activities, such as working, socialising, and caring for yourself or others. It can cause depression, worry, and sleeping problems, which can exacerbate the discomfort. This reaction sets in motion a difficult-to-break loop.  

CPS can impact people of any age and gender, but it affects women the most. People who suffer from significant depression or other mental illnesses are much more likely to suffer from this illness. 

The difference between Chronic and Acute Pain:   

Acute pain generally occurs and triggers due to a specific reason. It has a severe and sharp sensation. Acute discomfort generally lasts for six months or less. When there is no longer an underlying cause for the discomfort, it fades away. 

Acute pain can occur due to a variety of factors, including 

  • surgery. 
  • Broken Bones. 
  • Dental work is required. 
  • Cuts or burns. 
  • Childbirth and labour.  

In the case of Acute Pain, after the initial discomfort has subsided, one can resume their normal routine.  Chronic pain persists for more than six months. Even after the injury or sickness that triggered the pain is cured, the condition might persist. Pain signals can last for weeks, months, or even years in the neurological system.   

Causes of CPS :  

Chronic pain is associated with conditions that produce extensive and long-lasting pain. These are some of the conditions that can lead to CPS:   

  • Osteoarthritis: This form of arthritis happens when the protective cartilage between bones begins to deteriorate as a consequence of normal wear and strain on the body. 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints. This is an autoimmune illness that results in painful joint inflammation.
  • Backache:  Muscle strains, nerve compression, or spinal arthritis can all cause discomfort (this is often called spinal stenosis). 
  • Fibromyalgia:  This is a neurological disorder that produces pain and soreness throughout the body ( trigger points). 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease:  a condition in which the intestines become inflamed. This disorder causes persistent inflammation of the digestive tract, which can cause discomfort and cramping in the intestines. 
  • Trauma caused by surgery. 
  • Cancer has progressed. 

How does VR treat Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS)?   

As time passes on, practitioners are experiencing a dramatic reassessment of how we organise healthcare in Australia for long-term mental and physiological diseases like CPS.  

The pandemic has accelerated the pace of change, causing much-needed upheaval in the way professionals think about healthcare delivery. As per Mark Young, MD, MBA, FACP, of The Oasis Center for Natural Pain Management  “Virtual Reality is a wonderful method of pain management,”  

Virtual Reality chronic pain therapy seizes the focus of the mind and prevents pain signals from reaching the brain. It’s almost as if you’re in a state of active hypnosis. In recent years, Immersive therapies and VR programmes like Recovery VR have increased in popularity amongst doctors since they have been proven to be beneficial in treating a variety of pain and associated ailments including anxiety, stress and depression. 

VR gives physical and sensory input, allowing the patient to mobilise pain-relieving neurotransmitter pathways. Newer studies led by Stanford University pain researcher Beth Darnall, PhD, found “a significant reduction in pain outcomes” over a 21-day trial period of under 100 adults with self-reported chronic lower back or fibromyalgia conditions using a skills-based VR programme (including cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation, and mindfulness) versus an audio-only VR programme.  

For more information on how Recovery VR and our leading-edge evidence-based therapeutic techniques can help treat your Chronic Pain conditions and offer therapy, give us a call on 0415 736 939 or email info@recoveryvr.com.au 

About the author : Christian

Christian Doran is a technologist and creator.

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