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The Effect of VR on Chronic Pain Reduction

Reduce aches and pains and increase physical activity using VR

Studies out of the University of South Australia suggest that VR may help with both the perceived ease of working out and the alleviation of chronic pain. This can be helpful for those having trouble maintaining their fitness schedules.

Using an innovative cycle technology, the investigators discovered that incorporating virtual reality with riding enhances exercise satisfaction by 20% and boosts training duration by 15%.

The technology is especially helpful for those with chronic pain because it takes their minds off of their agony, which means they can exercise more and get well faster.

Australian exercise recommendations suggest 30 minutes of exercise three to five times weekly. However, only 20% of the population is able to pull this off.

Australia is home to 3.4 million individuals who suffer from chronic pain. One out of five individuals on the planet deal with persistent discomfort.

An individual’s mental and physical health depend on their level of sports participation, says PhD candidate Erin MacIntyre. The role it plays in facilitating recovery from injuries and the management of chronic conditions like arthritis are both equally important.

It is also well recognised that physical exercise aids in healing by reducing pain and disability, she said.

A lot of things get in the way of exercising, and that’s the main issue. Many find it tedious, unpleasant, or too taxing on their energy levels. To help overcome these challenges, her group has been researching potential solutions.

This study combined cycling with virtual reality (VR), giving the impression that the exerciser was travelling through a computer-generated environment.

Virtual reality effectively distracted cyclists from the exertion of training while simulating a less complex experience, which in turn increased their engagement and enjoyment of the sport, according to the findings.

A technology that combines a stationary bike with a virtual reality headset was used in the investigation. A custom virtual reality app wirelessly connected to the device, letting users adjust the stationary bike’s intensity and track their power output in watts. Virtual reality biking sessions may last up to 30 minutes, but users could stop at any point for any reason.

The virtual reality bike system provides a credible, safe, and legitimate intervention to increase exercise participation in healthcare settings, according to senior researcher Assoc Prof Tasha Stanton.

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