On Friday, October 20, Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold was an invited speaker at the Academy of Integrative Pain Management’s 28th Annual Meeting. As the “largest network of pain care professionals”, this conference exhibited the best practices and latest advancements in integrative pain management. Recent attention on the opioid crisis in America has heightened the awareness for nonpharmacological adjunctive pain care techniques. Virtual reality (VR) has emerged as an innovative technological application for pain distraction.
Dr. Wiederhold’s presentation focused on the use of virtual reality as an adjunctive pain management tool. With twenty-four years of clinical virtual reality (VR) experience, Dr. Wiederhold shared her VR research in dental pain management, surgical pain distraction, and chronic pain management. Referencing less medication, less pain, and lower physician stress, Dr. Wiederhold cited recent surgical pain distraction publications that highlight the significance of VR’s health care capabilities. “In both gynecological surgery and endoscopic procedures, physiological indicators of pain were reduced in patients using VR distraction”, Wiederhold noted. As well, in chronic pain management, VR can be a useful adjunctive tool for patient education and therapy. The presentation concluded with a brief question and answer.
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