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Sjogrens Topics => Living With Sjogren's => Topic started by: Confused on May 18, 2019, 12:06:10 PM

Title: virtual reality?
Post by: Confused on May 18, 2019, 12:06:10 PM
Such a fun life.  So now one of my doctors has come up with virtual reality as a way to halt the pain for a bit.  I am not familiar with this and to me it seems like the standard if you just think about something else.......That has never worked for me and I find it difficult to believe virtual reality would really work for me.

Has anyone tried virtual reality?  I am beginning to think the doctors are trying anything even without studies.

Title: Re: virtual reality?
Post by: irish on May 18, 2019, 12:40:34 PM
I have heard of this but don't know how they teach it. I did take lessons years ago in self hypnosis and I used that when I had my horrible, never ending dental work and infections. It did help and kept me in the dental chair along with the novacaine.

I also used to work OB many years ago and would work with OBs in labor with this self hypnosis/breathing thing and it did help. I had one lady deliver her baby kerpunk and I had a mad doctor.  ::) Irish

It was hear 4th baby so she deserved to have it go kerplunk and it was fine.
Doc got there to catch it, barely. Irish
Title: Re: virtual reality?
Post by: Linda196 on May 18, 2019, 01:26:55 PM
VR pain relief has been around for a while, not decades, but at least a few years, and early research and small studies seem promising. It's not meant to completely eradicate pain, and can be used in addition to standard opioid and non-opioid analgesics. I've seen it used in pediatric ER and oncology with good success, possibly because children are more familiar with VR tech in the first place, and possibly because they are more open minded, with less memory knowledge of pain (hopefully).

Rather than "just thinking about something else" it's an immersive distraction therapy, you are mentally available only to the altered location and situation the VR provides, and the first sessions usually involve some direction about relaxation and focus or meditation.

The whole mind over matter can be very successful in health care. From "mirror therapy" in amputees for phantom limb pain to post anaesthetic suggestion to control pain and nausea, and the self hypnosis Irish mentioned during labour and dental work, these therapies have been around and working for a long time. Even the "placebo" effect is mind over matter, and it work or it wouldn't be so well known!

I haven't tried the VR myself, because I'm quite satisfied with my meditation and self hypnosis routines, but I'm very open to if if i need it in the future
Title: Re: virtual reality?
Post by: Carolina on May 19, 2019, 04:41:24 AM
Dear Confused,

I recently read this article in the New York Times.

I would try anything for relief of pain, I think. 

And surely VR would have few side effects?

Keep us posted.

Regards, Elaine
Title: Re: virtual reality?
Post by: Sharon on May 20, 2019, 11:02:39 AM
Sounds very interesting to me. It's worth giving it a try in my opinion.
That being said, only very specific medications have helped me so far with pain
and I think it's important to address the source of the pain (=inflammation)
and not just the symptom to prevent the damage to our body that this pain indicates.
Title: Re: virtual reality?
Post by: Carolina on May 20, 2019, 08:16:04 PM
I understand, Sharon.

But understanding why some of us have chronic inflammation, how it develops, the mechanisms that cause it, and how to treat it without relying on steroids, would fall first to basic research scientists. 

The people who develop the use of VR to treat pain couldn't really address inflammation, even if they wanted to.  They're just trying to use their VR to distract people with horrific chronic pain.

I am not optimistic that enough funds are being made available through grants from the National Institutes of Health.  But that is where solutions will be found:

Here is what articles about basic research look like:

I am encouraged that research is being done.  And perhaps one day there will be a way to stop chronic inflammation.

Regards, Elaine
Title: Re: virtual reality?
Post by: Confused on May 20, 2019, 10:48:00 PM
Thank you Irish, Linda, Sharon and Carolina!

I understand the concept and was curious if anyone had had any luck with the idea and if it lasted past the session.  I have, with good reason, little trust left.

Carolina, and Sharon, you have the actual answers. Just treating the symptoms while needed, as that is all there is now and we need real answers.  The research scientists who actually care, is where you will find an answer.  There is not enough money channeled for where it needs to go.  Carolina,you must remember when finding the answer to a challenge was important and when patients were truly important.  A lifetime ago when money was not the driving force. (my opinion only)

I'm not afraid of trying the idea as I see no threat unless I am missing something.  Cost is a huge consideration. 

Glad the doc caught the Babe Irish.  Too bad it made the Doc work fast!  ;D

Now I know of someone who has had multiple surgeries using hypnosis, so it can work.  However it did not work on the last surgery this gal had, so it is not always going to work.

Thank you for your answers and taking the time to answer.  Sad to know it won't be an answer, but then any help, without side effects is appreciated and I need to look for the side effects, if any.

Title: Re: virtual reality?
Post by: Sharon on May 21, 2019, 07:24:42 AM
Confused and Elaine- Just wanted to clarify that by controlling the inflammation (source of pain) I was alluding to using biological meds and medical cannabis or possibly even just CBD oil. These have been found effcetive by many.

Title: Re: virtual reality?
Post by: Confused on May 21, 2019, 10:21:06 AM
Sharon, I don't know anything about biologics.  I think there something needed to curb the inflammation until there is a way to perhaps stop it or a way to control it which I think might take a scientist or several working to find answers.  I do know it is hard to get money that is needed for the research.
I had not heard of the virtual reality before which was posed to me and I was just trying to find out if this was a way that worked or not.  I often find I don't react as others would as far as medications go.

Whatever you try let us know how it worked for you and if you found any side effects.