Virtual Reality System to Ease Back Pain

A 3-D virtual reality system to treat back pain was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week. The EaseVRx system is a prescription device for at-home use that combines cognitive behavioral therapy and other behavioral methods to treat patients 18 and older with chronic lower back pain.

Millions of adults in the United States are living with chronic lower back pain that can affect multiple aspects of their daily life,” said Dr. Christopher Loftus, acting director of the Office of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA‘s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Pain reduction is a crucial component of living with chronic lower back pain. Today’s authorization offers a treatment option for pain reduction that does not include opioid pain medications when used alongside other treatment methods for chronic lower back pain,” Loftus said in an agency news release.

A treatment program includes 56 VR sessions that are 2 to 16 minutes long as part of a daily eight-week treatment program. The FDA approval is based on a clinical trial that included 179 patients with chronic lower back pain assigned to one of two eight-week VR programs: the EaseVRx 3-D program or a control 2-D program that did not feature CBT methods.

At the end of treatment, 66% of EaseVRx participants reported a greater than 30% reduction in pain, compared to 41% of those in the control groupA greater than 50% pain reduction was reported by 46% of the EaseVRx users, compared with 26% of those in the control group, according to the FDA.

One, two and three months after treatment, all EaseVRx users still reported a 30% reduction in pain, which was higher than in the control group. Nearly 21% of EaseVRx users reported discomfort with the headset and about 10% reported motion sickness and nausea, but there were no serious side effects associated with the system, which is made by AppliedVR.

Source:  https://www.upi.com/

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