Virtual Reality Is A Painkiller

Several studies have shown that immersing yourself in a virtual world can help with acute pain. One virtual reality experience, called SnowWorld, was created specifically for burn victims. The system would surround patients with a snowy environment in which they could toss snowballs and interact with snowmen, all while the doctor cared for their injuries. It's thought that virtual reality both distracts from the pain and offers the patient a feeling of control in a stressful situation, whether it's a dental cleaning or a chemotherapy session. Researchers hope that continued development of virtual reality worlds for therapeutic use could reduce patient dependence on opioids.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Virtual reality has been shown to help reduce pain during dental and medical procedures, including chemotherapy, physical therapy, and burn wound care. 00:45

  2. Pain perception has a strong psychological component, which is why you only feel pain if you're conscious. 00:59

  3. Research indicates that virtual reality can reduce the pain and anxiety associated with dental work by distracting the patient and immersing them in a different experience. 01:50

Written by Curiosity Staff March 4, 2016

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