Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dox: Got Pain? Take a Computer Game!

If any surgical procedure, including cosmetic plastic surgery, has left you hurting, skip the anti-pain drugs and try a video game instead.

Researchers at the University of Barcelona in Spain are using computer games and virtual reality helmets to measure how much high tech gizmos can reduce pain. So far, researchers have found the technique reduces the need for sedatives. Video games seem to work because you can only pay so much attention to any one thing; the games or virtual reality helmets distract your brain from your pain by more fully involving your other senses. More.

The Spanish are not alone in trying e-cures.

Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, have done experiments that show patients who are distracted in a virtual reality world like a 3-D skiing adventure, report less pain than others using drug-based pain therapy. More.

But it’s not so bad when you consider that surgical pain is just weakness leaving the body.

Physicians can read about it here: Article: Wismeijer, AAJ; Vingerhoets, AJJM, "The use of virtual reality and audiovisual eyeglass systems as adjunct analgesic techniques: A review of the literature", Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 30 (3): 268-278 DEC 2005

No comments: