Virtual Reality Produces Effective Analgesic Pain Management

Know options available for pain management

Patterson, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University Washington, Seattle, provided an overview of virtual reality distraction, the combination of virtual reality distraction hypnosis, and virtual reality hypnosis in the management of patients with pain. One study of 11 hospitalized patients at a major regional burn center who had their burn wounds debrided and dressed while partially submerged in a hydrotherapy tank found they reported significantly less pain when distracted with virtual reality. Each patient spent 3 minutes of wound care with no distraction and 3 minutes of wound care in virtual reality during a single wound care session. While they were wearing a virtual reality helmet, they had a reduction in time spent thinking about pain, a reduction in pain unpleasantness, a reduction in worse painand an increase in fun. He explained the steps of virtual reality hypnosis. Following relaxation and instructions, patients appear to float down through a canyon, seeing the numbers 1 to 10. After appearing over a scenic lake, post-hypnotic suggestions are given and patients return up the canyon. Studies have shown virtual reality hypnosis works for burn pain (n=1 and n=13), chronic neuropathic pain (n=13), and trauma pain. In a case series in patients with burn pain being treated for their wounds92% of whom were male, 92% Caucasian, 46% with a burn to the face and mean age, 38 yearsuse of virtual reality hypnosis reduced all measures of pain and anxiety. Specifically, there was a 29% decrease in the amount of time that patients were thinking about their pain and an 11% decrease in the unpleasantness of their wound care.
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A Pain Management Glossary

Myofascial pain: Term to describe pain and soreness in the muscles. Nerve blocks: Pain management technique that involves injecting an anesthetic into the nerves to numb the area and help alleviate pain. NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help to reduce inflammation and manage pain; available in over-the-counter and prescription strengths. Opioid: Medication class often prescribed to manage pain; drugs include codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and methadone. Peripheral nervous system: This system includes the nerves all over the body that relay messages like pain to the CNS. Peripheral neuropathy: Pain caused by damage to or an abnormality with the peripheral nervous system. Pharmacotherapy: Medication-based therapy. Psychological approaches: Techniques or therapies used instead of or in addition to medication to help you manage your pain; types of therapy include biofeedback, relaxation, stress management , and cognitive-behavioral therapy to manage the emotional triggers of pain. Rehabilitation: Treatment plan, often exercise based, used to help you regain function or relieve pain caused by an illness or injury. Reiki: Complementary medicine technique that uses gentle pressure from the hands to encourage “healing energy,” and is often used to treat both acute and chronic pain.
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Recommended Related to Pain Management Mind-Body Therapies Mind-body therapies are treatments that are meant to help the minds ability to affect the functions and symptoms of the body. Mind-body therapies use various approaches, including relaxation techniques, meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, and hypnosis. Relaxation techniques can help alleviate discomfort related to chronic pain. Acupuncture Although the World Health Organization currently recognizes more than 30 diseases or conditions that can be helped by acupuncture treatment, one of the main uses of acupuncture is for pain relief. Sixteenth Century Chinese doctors believed that illness was due to an imbalance of energy in the body. In acupuncture, disposable, stainless steel needles are used to stimulate the body’s 14 major meridians, or energy-carrying channels, to resist or overcome illnesses and conditions by correcting these imbalances. Acupuncture is chiropractor yonge and sheppard also thought to decrease pain by increasing the release of chemicals that block pain, called endorphins. Many acu-points are near nerves. When stimulated, these nerves cause a dull ache or feeling of fullness in the muscle. The stimulated muscle sends a message to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), causing the release of endorphins (morphine-like chemicals produced in our own bodies during times of pain or stress). Endorphins, along with other neurotransmitters (body chemicals that modify nerve impulses), block the message of pain from being delivered up to the brain. Acupuncture may be useful as an accompanying treatment for many pain-related conditions, including: headache , low back pain , menstrual cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia , osteoarthritis and myofascial pain . Acupuncture also may be an acceptable alternative to or may be included as part of a comprehensive pain management program.
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Pain Management: Alternative Therapy

It is important to understand pain in order to manage pain. Pain is most often our bodys normal protective response to injury or illness. In most cases, people can return to normal activities after a brief period of rest, appropriate medical treatment, and when necessary, some short-term use of pain medications. It is extremely important that the cause of acute pain is identified and appropriate treatment is received, before it becomes chronic and harder to treat. Since the Pain Management Task Force started in 2010, most of the 109 recommendations have been implemented. Army Medicine now leads the transformation of the Nations pain management strategy, specifically pertaining to the overuse and abuse of prescription medications. The objectives are to treat acute and chronic pain needs of Soldiers and Family members by implementing a holistic system of pain management that integrates traditional and non-traditional methods. The holistic approach to pain management ensures a focus not only on decreasing the level of pain, but also to restoring a persons quality of sleep, mood and activity which might be negatively affected by their pain. Nontraditional pain management treatments include things like acupuncture, yoga, medical massage, chiropractic care, biofeedback, relaxation techniques and behavioral health therapies. Traditional pain treatments include appropriate use of non-prescription and prescription medications, physical therapy, and surgical procedures. Pain is the number one reason patients seek physician care in the U.S.
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Orphaned chronic pain patients can get help from specialized local program

It called for the creation of a centralized pain program. There is no official specialization for chronic pain in medicine, so it falls largely to family doctors to manage these patients and make the call about prescribing these heavy-duty pain killers. Farago is one of the doctors at the clinic who is willing to step in and work with local family doctors to handle just the chronic pain and prescription narcotic part of their care. In fact, he said, most of his 200-odd chronic pain patient roster involves consulting with a family doctor, rather than being the lead in a patients chronic pain management care. For more information about the Erie St. Clair Clinic and VON pain management program, call 1-855-419-5200. or Tags: Pain Management , Victorian Order of Nurses Lively discourse is the lifeblood of any healthy democracy and The Star encourages readers to engage in robust debates about our stories. But, please, avoid personal attacks and keep your comments respectful and relevant. If you encounter abusive comments, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. The Star is Using Facebook Comments.
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