About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Alter Visual Feedback to Reduce Neck Pain

by Shirley Johanna on February 21, 2015 at 4:51 PM
Font : A-A+

 Alter Visual Feedback to Reduce Neck Pain

A new research published in Psychological Science found that individuals suffering from severe neck pain could alter pain experiences by using virtual reality to imagine how far the neck is turned. It may seem like our experiences of pain stem from some objective, physiological source, but research has shown that many factors - including sensory, cognitive, and emotional cues - can have a significant influence on if, when, and how we feel pain.

"Our findings show that the brain does not need danger messages coming from the tissues of the body in order to generate pain in that body part - sensable and reliable cues that predict impending pain are enough to produce the experience of pain," says researcher G. Lorimer Moseley of the University of South Australia. "These results suggest a new approach to developing treatments for pain that are based on separating the non-danger messages from the danger messages associated with a movement."

Advertisement

Moseley, co-author Daniel Harvie, and colleagues recruited 24 chronic neck pain sufferers from physiotherapy clinics. The participants had experienced the pain for an average of 11 years, stemming from issues including posture, tension, repeated strain, trauma, and scoliosis.

The researchers had participants sit in a chair while wearing a virtual reality head-mounted display (Oculus Rift). The display showed a virtual indoor or outdoor scene while simultaneously recording participants' head movements using gyroscopes. The participants wore a seatbelt that prevented them from moving their torso and they also wore headphones that blocked out incidental noise.
Advertisement

For each scene that was presented, the participants were asked to rotate their head, either to the left or to the right, until they experienced pain. What the participants didn't know was that on some trials the researchers were manipulating the visual feedback provided in the virtual world so that it didn't accurately represent the degree to which the head was turned. In some cases, the scene indicated that participants weren't turning their head as far as they actually were - it understated the degree of rotation. In other cases, the feedback indicated to participants that they were turning their head farther than they were, overstating the degree of rotation.

The results showed that the visual feedback played an important role in determining when the participants reported feeling pain.

When the display understated actual head rotation, participants had a broader range of pain-free motion; they were able to turn their head about 6% farther than they normally would. But when the display overstated head rotation, their pain-free range of motion shrank by an average of 7%.

Importantly, the participants didn't report any differences in the intensity of pain across the various conditions. "We were surprised at how robust and predictable this pattern of results was," says Moseley. While previous research has indicated that external cues can influence the intensity of pain experiences, these results are novel in showing that external cues can also shift the physical point at which pain is experienced.

The researchers note that their work, though experimental in nature, could have significant implications for the clinical treatment of pain: the researchers said, "If cues signaling danger amplify or indeed trigger pain, then these cues present a novel target for therapy."

 



Source: Medindia

Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
Emotional Healing
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cervical Spondylosis Neck Pain Symptom Evaluation Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Whiplash and Conditions that Mimic Whiplash Neck Pain 

Recommended Reading
Many Car Crash Victims Struggle With Chronic Neck Pain
A new study has evaluated musculoskeletal pain outcomes after motor vehicle collision in the U.S....
New and Better Surgery for Neck Pain: UCSF
A new surgery for cervical disc disease in the neck may restore range of motion and reduce repeat .....
Use of Narcotics and Diagnostics in Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain Needs Regulation
Duke University and University of North Carolina (UNC) researchers are of the opinion that better .....
Botulinum Toxin Injections Don't Reduce Neck Pain, Headaches
A group of scientists who reviewed nine trials involving a total of 503 participants said there is ....
Cervical Spondylosis
Cervical spondylosis is a disorder in which there is abnormal wear on cervical vertebrae....
Neck Pain
Neck pain is a very common problem that affects many and often. To avoid stiff neck or neck pain aft...
Neck Pain Symptom Evaluation
Neck pain may be due to minor causes like strain and sprain or due to more serious conditions like d...
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a rare condition that occurs when blood vessels or nerves become c...
Whiplash and Conditions that Mimic Whiplash
Whiplash injury is an injury that common with road traffic accidents. Whiplash happens due to sudden...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use