Virtual reality can decrease pain types usually found in nervous injuries patients and VR can boost the dysfunctional pain removal system, according to a new study.
20 March London (IANS) A new study suggests that virtual reality (VR) can decrease pain types normally seen in patients with nerve lesions and that VR can increase the dysfunctional system for suppressing pain.
The study, published in The Journal of Pain, shows that VR may decrease pain symptoms, such as prickling and aftertaste pain, which are frequently observed in nerve injury patients.
Researcher Sam Hughes, a Psychology lecturer at the University of Plymouth said
"The findings have been brilliant because they show more proof that virtual reality cannot only decrease pain perception in human chronic pain models but also give us insights into the processes that are behind this effect,"
Hughes also said
"Of course, the next step is to do the research with people with chronic pain to see if it works for you,".
The researchers say that we all have different sensations of physical pain, but those with nerve injury also have a dysfunctional suppression system that makes them especially susceptible to discomfort.
In this study, the team focused on conditioned modulation of pain (CPM) – an inhibitory course of pain in humans.
The previously published teamwork shows that looking at 360° scenes of the Arctic can help to relieve the pain-like symptoms of sunburn.
The team also went a step further and measured the direct impact of VR on CPM.
CPM is dysfunctional in nerve patients, so scientists can help boost the natural body pain inhibition process by knowing how it will improve their actions, the researchers said.
The results reveal that in virtual reality 360-degree Arctic scenes have an effect on CPM performance while the 2D versions of the same scenes (called sham VR) have reduced CPM performance.
"If it works, it may help in the ongoing pain management by helping to address the brain dysfunctions that underline chronic pain," added Hughes.
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