4 Important Things To Know About Managing Pain With VR

Whether you have chronic pain or you're experiencing discomfort due to an injury, it's important to understand your options for pain relief. One option to explore is managing your pain with VR (virtual reality).

The equipment used for this therapy is the same type that you use for virtual reality video games. Check out a few things you should know about managing pain with virtual reality.

1. VR Therapy is Effective at Preventing Pain and Addressing Breakthrough Pain

There are a few ways to manage pain with virtual reality. One alternative is to schedule regular VR sessions to mitigate pain or prevent pain levels from worsening. However, you can also use VR as needed to manage breakthrough pain. You can also combine the two methods so that you participate in more VR therapy when you're experiencing higher pain levels. 

2. It's Believed That VR Therapy Distracts the Brain

One of the reasons that you experience pain is because your nerves transmit a signal to the brain that your body is damaged. The brain then interprets these signals as a message to produce pain. 

VR therapy distracts the brain so that it doesn't receive and process the signals from your nerves that you should feel pain. Even if your brain receives the signals, VR gives it something else to focus on so that it produces lower pain levels. 

When your brain only focuses on one thing (like feeling pain), it's more likely to amplify the effects of that one thing. Giving it multiple things to focus on reduces the intensity of your brain's response. 

3. You Can (and Should) Use VR Therapy with Other Pain Management Techniques 

To get the best results from your VR sessions, you should combine them with other pain management techniques. A top benefit of VR therapy is that there are no side effects and it won't interact with other treatment techniques. VR won't adversely impact your vital signs. 

This means that you can use it with other methods to manage your pain, like prescription and over-the-counter painkillers, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and hot and cold therapy. Some patients are able to reduce or eliminate their use of potentially addictive medications by adding VR sessions to their treatment regimen.

4. VR Therapy Works Regardless of Your Pain Source

Another advantage of VR therapy is that it reduces pain levels regardless of what's causing the pain. It doesn't matter if you're experiencing pain after surgery, chronic back pain, or arthritis-related pain; VR sessions can help you improve your pain levels.