For those suffering from Crohn’s disease, the chronic abdominal pain can be extremely debilitating. Traditional pain medications often fail to provide lasting relief or have disruptive side effects.
However, many Crohn’s patients are now finding a new kind of respite from their pain through virtual reality (VR) distraction therapy.
How VR Provides Distraction from Pain
The immersive 3D visuals and sounds of VR fully engage the senses in a virtual environment. When exploring a tropical island or going on a VR safari, the user’s mind is transported away from their body.
Research shows VR activates parts of the brain involved in processing pain differently. It reduces pain signals and modifies perception. Patients report the relief lasts longer than pain medication alone after a VR session.
Optimising VR for Pain Management
To best leverage VR for pain distraction, users look for apps designed specifically for relaxation, meditation, and therapy, some might want something more hardcore as they already are gamers, first person shooter (FPS) games have enough going on to distract anyone from thier pain etc.
For most, soothing nature settings, underwater worlds, and calming music tend to work best. Finding a comfortable VR headset is also key for longer use without aggravating symptoms during a flare.
But the investment pays off with the hours of on-demand relief VR can provide at home.
For Crohn’s patients who have struggled to find ways to manage their chronic pain, VR distraction therapy offers a powerful new option.
The technology lets them temporarily regain control over their pain by immersing their senses in calming virtual environments. VR provides a non-drug alternative that reduces the perception of pain and its impact on quality of life.
If you already have a VR headset, try using it when you have Crohn's pain, it may just help you find some respite. If you haven't got a VR headset, try to imagine your last holiday and a time you were withought pain, and hold that thought.
As Tinkerbell once said, find your happy thought..