Can VR Treat Chronic Pain and Help Alleviate the Opioid Crisis?

Published by , November 20, 2017 12:27 pm

(Wired)  Cedars-Sinai is one of an increasing number of hospitals testing how virtual reality could improve patient outcomes. Clinical researcher Brennan Spiegel is focusing efforts on pain. Over the past few years he’s conducted clinical trials that show a pair of 3D goggles can reduce the experience of pain—all kinds, from joint injuries to cancer—by a quarter.
Spiegel is now testing the technology for treating chronic pain—the kind that afflicts more than 25 million Americans. All too often, addictive painkillers are the only treatment option for those patients. And with opioids claiming the lives of nearly 100 people every day, doctors are scrambling to find non-addictive alternatives. Virtual reality might soon be one of those.

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