Virtual reality goes beyond video games. Now, scientists are utilizing the tool to help those with neck and back pain.
Through virtual reality (VR,) users can explore and interact with a virtual world in a way that mimics reality as perceived by their senses. Now, it can even play a role in the health world.
According to scientists, virtual reality therapy may be a secure and effective way to treat people with neck and low back discomfort.
"The findings suggest that there were no side effects, adverse or serious adverse events, and some of the participants reported that software-generated outcomes were associated with significant improvement."- Founder and CEO of XRHealth, Eran Orr
Orr said that, particularly in this cohort, the treatments were linked to appreciable gains in both the neck disability index and the modified Oswestry low back pain disability index.
In 82 patients who received exercise therapy using VR for treating low back pain and neck pain between July 2020 and May 2022, Orr and colleagues collected patient outcome measures.
According to research, VR exercise treatment was not connected to any adverse outcomes or side effects. The results also indicated a correlation between VR therapy and notable reductions in neck pain problems and non-specific low back pain impairment.
This system, according to researchers, is a reasonably inexpensive solution that would improve the sustainability of the healthcare system.
The team concluded that since no exercise program has proven to be significantly superior and more care for these conditions is being provided remotely, exploring the potential of VR delivered remotely in the metaverse may result in more effective use of health resources than traditional brick-and-mortar facilities.
- Archives of Physiotherapy. Virtual reality in the management of patients with low back and neck pain: a retrospective analysis of 82 people treated solely in the metaverse.
- Ontario Institute for Studies in Education - University of Toronto. What is virtual reality?