Scientists from Imperial College London have found that using virtual reality headsets could combat increased sensitivity to pain, by immersing people in scenes of icebergs, frigid oceans and sprawling icescapes.
According to the researchers, the findings add to the growing evidence for the potential of VR technology to help patients with chronic pain.
Beyond the distracting effect, they think immersing patients in VR may actually trigger the body’s own inbuilt pain-fighting systems — reducing their sensitivity to painful stimuli and reducing the intensity of ongoing pain.
For more information, please see below:
Sam W. Hughes, Hongyan Zhao, Edouard J. Auvinet, Paul H. Strutton. Attenuation of capsaicin-induced ongoing pain and secondary hyperalgesia during exposure to an immersive virtual reality environment. PAIN Reports, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1097/PR9.0000000000000790