Virtual Reality Technology And Chronic Pain
Providing evidence-based virtual reality services, Karuna Laboratories has developed a multi-modal approach to pain management and rehabilitation through a patented Virtual Embodiment Training (VET) program. Making use of the concept of neuroplasticity, the premise of VET is that the brain’s activity can change, given repetitive ways of thinking and behaving. As such, an individual’s pain experience can be reshaped, while stress decreases and the focus shifts to what is not hurting.
Dr. James Petros is pleased to offer the revolutionary VET program at Allied Pain & Spine Institute in San Jose. Given his integrated approach to injury and illness, Dr. Petros continues to transcend the sciences of pain through helping chronic pain sufferers move past non-beneficial adaptations, including the perception of persistent pain.
With the right process and module, chronic pain patients can effectively learn guided mindfulness, coping skills, virtual reality imagery exercises and more—all in an effort to retrain their brain.
Virtual Embodiment Training (VET) Regimen
With real-time motion and tracking to monitor the brain’s responses to pain, the Virtual Embodiment Training (VET) regimen consists of ten 30-minute sessions provided for 6-12 weeks, respectively. The sequence begins when the patient puts on the virtual reality goggles. Next, the patient is instructed to move a non-injured area of his body. Virtual reality creates the illusion that he is moving the weak or injured area. In turn, the patient might be prompted to participate in computer-generated games that mimic daily activities and movements.
During the session, the VET analytics platform measures pain-free range of motion, fear and avoidant behavior, and visual analogue pain scores—in real time. Thus, data is easily tracked. As specific modules are introduced, patients are exposed to pain neuroscience, psychology, spatial awareness, movement distortions mirroring limbs, bodily representations and corrective exercises that extend their pain-free range of motion. The latter portion utilizes biofeedback to help patients acquire control of their thinking and behavior.
Encompassing different principles of virtual embodiment, there are modules for upper limb, lower limb, cervical and lumbar spine, as well as for pain in the arms, shoulders, legs, back and neck. Chronic pain patients with carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and phantom limb pain are believed to benefit from a VET regimen. Backed by over two decades of research, the revolutionary technology is non-invasive and drug-free.
At Allied Pain & Spine Institute in San Jose, Dr. Petros invites chronic pain sufferers to ask about VET, and how they can retrain their brain safely and effectively. Contact our office today!