Virtual Reality / Chronic Pain
Virtual reality is a new IT technology that simulates physical presence in an artificially generated environment. With the development of headsets, virtual reality is now an easily accessible technology.
The functioning of a virtual reality headset is based on the projection of a different image in each eye, which the brain will gather to obtain a 3D vision. In addition, these images move according to the movements of the head and the angle of view of the user, which gives a feeling of immersion in the proposed environment.
Virtual Reality: A "digital care" for chronic pain
Beyond the recreational aspect, virtual reality has a real therapeutic potential by allowing the patient to focus on the immersive environment and to be decentralized from the pain. It is a non-drug approach that has already proven itself in acute pain and perioperative care. It therefore deserves to be developed for the benefit of chronic pain patients.
This technique makes it possible to integrate and combine therapeutic approaches used in patients with chronic pain such as hypnosis, sophrology, mindfulness meditation, cardiac coherence, but it can also be used for the motor rehabilitation of patients.
The objectives of our virtual reality / chronic pain project are to :
- develop sessions adapted to chronic pain patients (with our working group made up of different professionals: pain doctors, psychologist, hypnotherapist,...) ;
- provide the headsets integrating these sessions in the pain centres (first of all, on our territory) ;
- and of course, validate the therapeutic interest of these sessions and the optimal frequency of use of the virtual reality headset on a panel of painful patients.
Developing digital sessions
adapted to chronic pain patients
Implementing virtual reality
in the centres of the territory
During our workshop "Innovation against Pain" which took place in April 2019, several specialists told us about
their experience after testing the virtual reality helmets: