HTC Vive and VR Used for Pain Management

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
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We have not been shy about saying that VR is going to change the world, and while we here at HardOCP tend to obviously focus on VR gaming, the technology is going to extend into many different elements in our daily lives. Long time HardOCP reader, The_Heretic, was kind enough to share this news item that he recently came across. It covers a gentleman that is using a VR therapy to relieve his pain by tricking his brain in some way. Obviously we are not sure why this works, but it seems to be something that has some very promising outlooks. The video below is worth two of your minutes.

Check out the video.

Dr. Kim Bullock, a neuropsychiatrist at Stanford University, says she made the remarkable discovery by accident. While studying virtual reality for conditions like severe anxiety, a welcome side benefit of that treatment: patients’ chronic pain disappeared.
 

oROEchimaru

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interesting... there are "many activities" where my pain is unnoticed... often it is most noticible when "idle", not "stimulated" or doing a repetitive task (spraying my tent down with water proofer left my body sore for 2 days which is lame)...

but if you game (not too much) or watch entertainment films... usually you forget about the pain if distracted 100%. with VR totally taking you out of the world... it is interesting to folks like me!
 
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Nukester

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Back, if this can help with my flipping lower back pain, I'm all in. I refuse to use pain meds but a few motrin now and then.
 

Ur_Mom

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interesting... there are "many activities" where my pain is unnoticed... often it is most noticible when "idle", not "stimulated" or doing a repetitive task (spraying my tent down with water proofer left my body sore for 2 days which is lame)...

but if you game (not too much) or watch entertainment films... usually you forget about the pain if distracted 100%. with VR totally taking you out of the world... it is interesting to folks like me!


Walking on sand is usually bad for back pain. Which it can be if it's the dry loose stuff. But, walking the ocean beaches with the packed hard sand? I can walk for hours without any pain. It's like my place of zen. Pain free, relaxed. Just perfect.

I think it is that distraction or it puts you in a different place where you're just more relaxed and content with what's going on around you. Just .... chill.

Of course, you really feel it later.
 

Nukester

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Walking on sand is usually bad for back pain. Which it can be if it's the dry loose stuff. But, walking the ocean beaches with the packed hard sand? I can walk for hours without any pain. It's like my place of zen. Pain free, relaxed. Just perfect.

I think it is that distraction or it puts you in a different place where you're just more relaxed and content with what's going on around you. Just .... chill.

Of course, you really feel it later.

I second the walk in lose sand pain. It's the worst. All of my sports injuries seem to appear out of nowhere when walking on sand. Especially achillies tendon and back. Get to the hard sand it you are right. Ahhhhh.
 

Youn

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This is complete bullocks!

Actually I can see this being very helpful for the following:

1. eye-strain reduction
2. broccoli now tastes like candy
3. no more premature ejaculation + 1 hour orgasms

It's all in the head right?
 

LurkerLito

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Well I can tell you that while in VR my back pain is more easily ignored and that is NOT necessarily a good thing. You are basically just ignoring the pain signals and if you are ignoring them you can strain them much more easily and you won't notice it till you are out of VR and by then it could be worse. I have the same issue with taking a pain killer like Advil. While it's working it's great, but if I was straining my back as the medication was working because I am not noticing the pain, the pain can become worse once the medication is gone.
 

Azphira

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I had the thought come to mind of managing pain from smashing your head and fists into things while VRing...
 

heatlesssun

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What is that on the front of the headset? Also, cool to see Steam installed a doctors PC. She also has the Rift client.
 

SighTurtle

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Tricking the mind, reminds me of the placebo effect. Can work even if your told your getting a placebo pill. Strangest thing ever.

Amazing to see VR tech translating across entertainment into other fields, especially in unexpected ways like this.
 

heatlesssun

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It looks like a Leap Motion. When mounted like that they can be used in VR to track your hands and fingers without needing to hold the controller.

Thanks, I was thinking it was some kind of other sensor but I couldn't think of for what, it looked like a pretty standard Vive setup and they were using the controllers.
 

SSimmons05

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I've tried mirror box therapy for RSD in my left hand, but turns out my brain is so hard wired to favor my left brain hemisphere, that my brain was too skeptical of itself for the therapy to work. Would love to see what VR has in store.
 

DarkStar_WNY

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I cant get the article to load at the moment but just from the summary I immediately thought of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_box which we have been doing for years with phantom pain/itching etc.

Yeah, my first reaction was this that is a high tech high cost version of a mirror box, and while it's surely worth studying there are much cheaper solutions, although since not each method works for everyone this might work for a few people that the mirror box and similar devices don't, who knows.
 

AK0tA

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That lady has the look of Hey dude try this it might have worked on someone, no not sure but give it a go.

I hope VR has a great use for our future I see things like underwater welding, nano bot brain surgery etc but for pain just grab some medical marijuana. It either hel;ps the pain or you no longer care to perform the activity that hurts.
 
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