Low Back Pain & Afraid Of Opioid Addiction? Try At-Home Therapeutic Virtual Reality

Low Back Pain & Afraid Of Opioid Addiction? Try At-Home Therapeutic Virtual Reality

8 March 2022
 Categories: , Blog

One of the most common reasons for chronic pain in adults is low back pain, with many of the patients being prescribed opioids when they seek pain relief through their healthcare providers. In fact, according to research published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), opioids are the most commonly prescribed drug. However, many people do not find long-term pain relief from opioids for low back pain. Additionally, there's always a risk of becoming addicted to opioids.

Fortunately, there is another method for pain relief that does not involve the use of opioids or other pharmacologic treatments — immersive therapeutic virtual reality. 

What is immersive therapeutic virtual reality?

Pain treatment for immersive therapeutic virtual reality involves the use of a virtual reality device that allows the wearer to be immersed in a 3D environment that is rich in visuals and sounds. This allows the wearer's attention to be redirected, which can improve pain and anxiety. While researchers aren't quite sure why the use of immersive therapeutic virtual reality works to relieve pain and reduce anxiety, one theory is that the body's pain signals to the brain are essentially tuned out by the sensory-rich stimuli of the virtual reality the patient is immersed in. 

Are there contraindications for use of virtual reality? 

When it comes to pharmacologic treatments, there are typically contraindications that need to be kept in mind, such as when prescription medications interact or interfere with other medications. With virtual reality, there are no such concerns. However, users may experience dizziness, motion sickness, and eye strain when using the device and some people may have headaches. And, of course, there is a risk of physical injuries if the device is used in a hazardous area, such as near the top of a flight of stairs or close to windows and heat sources. If you experience any adverse symptoms during or after wearing the device, speak with your healthcare provider who prescribed the device to you. 

Can therapeutic virtual reality be done at home?

If you would like to use therapeutic virtual reality to improve the pain in your lower back, you can get a prescription for the medical device. The FDA has approved the use of immersive therapeutic virtual reality devices, which include devices that can be used in the privacy and comfort of your home. Speak with your primary care provider or another healthcare provider for more information on how to get a prescription for at-home therapeutic virtual reality. 

For more information, go to website to learn more.

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