Virtual reality is able to significantly reduce pain levels by “hijacking” the senses of hospital patients, without the need for drugs, according to new research.
The team in Los Angeles took one hundred patients from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, all of whom reported pain levels above a score of three on the numeric pain scale.
They gave half of them access to VR, which consisted of ‘calming’ video content of helicopter rides over Iceland or swimming with whales (although that does sound a little stressful if you ask us).
While the other 50% just watched a two-dimensional nature video.
Those patients who had virtual reality therapy claimed to have experienced a 24% drop in their pain levels after using the virtual reality goggles. While the video patients only reported a 13.2% drop.
Brennan Spiegel, Director Of Health Services Research, said: “Results indicate virtual reality may be an effective tool along with traditional pain management protocols, This gives doctors and patients more options than medication alone.”
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