There are some that say pain is all in the mind, and to a certain extent that is true. If you’ve ever been sick and focused on the pain, it feels like it is never going to end. However if you find yourself distracted, maybe friends come to visit or if you’re doing something else, the pain somehow lessens.

Hoping to perhaps reduce the amount of drugs that patients rely on for pain medication, a hospital in France has started to test out using virtual reality (VR) to manage pain. Graduate students at St Joseph’s Hospital, France have designed an immersive virtual program that aims to help patients relax and to increase pain tolerance without the need for any kind of medications.

Dr. Olivier Ganasia, head of the hospital’s ER department has likened this to hypnosis where, “(It) enables us to offer patients a technique to distract their attention and curb their pain and anxiety when being treated in the emergency room…I think in 10 years, virtual reality won’t even be a question anymore, and will be used in hospitals routinely.”

It is an interesting treatment because we have seen many cases of patients becoming dependent on painkillers, or even growing a resistance to them, which in turn would require them to take more powerful doses which seems like a never-ending cycle.

Filed in General >Medical. Read more about Health and Virtual Reality (VR).

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