The use of VR games and gaming technology has shown promise as a distraction tool for managing chronic pain in Crohn’s disease. But are all VR games created equal? Especially when it comes to providing pain relief.
The most effective apps for Crohn’s patients are specifically designed to be calming, therapeutic distractions from pain symptoms. When evaluating VR games and apps, there are a few key factors Crohn’s patients should consider for pain relief:
Vivid, detailed 3D visual environments are pretty much key for full distraction from pain. Whilst we are seeing more mixed reality games coming to market for VR headset like the Quest 3, it's better to choose games that has full immersion with engaging, calming scenery. Soothing natural settings like beaches, forests, and underwater scenes tend to work best. The visuals should fully capture attention away from what's going on within the body.
Apps with some degree of interactivity can enhance pain distraction, as long as the actions are calm and gentle. Moving through a VR landscape or having virtual experiences like swimming with dolphins requires focus without being overly exertive.
Too much intensity could exacerbate pain, so it's a fine balance.
Immersive 3D soundscapes enhance the sense of presence in the VR environment (so can the use of haptics too). Nature sounds, soft music, or ambient tones help relaxation. Voiceovers should have a soothing effect. Harsh sounds or overstimulation negate the benefits.
Simplicity of Use
VR gear should be easy to use even during a Crohn’s flare. You should be able to simply pick up your headset and be immediately immersed into a calming scenario without any friction. Shorter session lengths are best for avoiding fatigue.
People that suffer from Crohn’s will most likely see the greatest results in both physical comfort and improved quality of life by prioritising relaxing, immersive VR games and experiences. It won't be a cure all, but it's a little extra tool in your armoury in the constant battle against the dreaded cramps and flare ups.