If a chronic pain patient had the opportunity to temporarily escape reality, she’d take it. And with a VR headset, the patient could escape reality several times a week.
VR certainly isn’t a new phenomenon in the pain management industry. Yet, the majority of health care providers around the world still haven’t adopted it as an alternative pain management strategy.
Virtual reality in hospitals
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Diversion Health VR found Yakem Kurban aims to roll out a trial phase for his VR goggles with several hospitals in the next few years. Over in California, Santa Rosa Hospital recently became the third medical in the state to offer VR technology to gynecology and pediatric patients for coping with pain. Other Californian hospitals are testing out the headsets, though medical professionals hope the VR tech remains permanently as part of a pain program.
The University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff currently use VR to treat early labor pains. If the trial is successful, the technology could spread cross medical facilities in Wales.
In addition to labor pains, other applications of VR including managing anxiety in veterans and pain for burn victims.
Virtual reality for chronic pain
Though some chronic pain patients have taken matters into their own hands. Amanda Greene, who suffers from a list of chronic illnesses, shares how her personal VR headset changed her life.
That first experience with VR was life-changing. It was like I had forgotten about my pain. No, the source of my pain, my illnesses, had not been “cured.” But the VR experience had helped show me that my mind was in control. All I had to do was breathe in and out, just to get to the next five seconds. I could recognize and acknowledge I was in pain, but focus on my breathing instead — I could focus on the gentle manatees, instead of my pain. And it worked.Amanda Greene on The Mighty, syndicated to Yahoo! Lifestyle