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- Issue 26
- Illusion-enhanced Virtual Reality Exercise for Neck…
Illusion-enhanced Virtual Reality Exercise for Neck Pain: A Replicated Single Case Series
- Virtual Reality devices can be configured for home therapeutic exercises and gather data on those exercises.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
A major premise of this study is that a mismatch between the state of the body and the state of the cortical representation of the body may contribute to persistent pain. The authors of this paper make a connection between the altered representations and techniques that can be used to target and restore the accuracy of the representation. The evidence supports that body illusions can be altered and can influence a wide range of sensory and physiological domains (attitudes, cognitive performance, temperature, and histamine reactivity). Despite the plausibility of the use of multisensory illusion, those studies investigating the use of illusion in treating pain have shown mixed benefit (2).
The authors developed this study using the same virtual reality (VR) illusion as was used in a previous paper which established the Motor Offset Visual Illusion (MoOVi) as an effective way to increase cervical motion in individuals experiencing cervical pain (3). The effect on pain beyond the intervention was not yet studied. This paper explored the possibility that virtual reality enhanced exercises would be more effective than the same exercises without the illusion for those with moderate to severe chronic neck pain.
Virtual Reality has the potential to change the cortical perception and the sensation of body movement to allow patients the confidence to explore movement and their environment.
The study used a replicated single case series design. Participants were included for having neck pain (of 3/10 or more within the last week) for longer than 3 months and had pain with cervical rotation. Exclusion criteria include pathology, traumatic