Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Brady N.;McVeigh J.G.;McCreesh K.;Rio E.;Dekkers T.;Lewis J.S.
Physical Therapy Reviews
Exploring the effectiveness of immersive Virtual Reality interventions in the management of musculoskeletal pain: a state-of-the-art review
Optional Fields
immersive virtual reality musculoskeletal pain pain pain management rehabilitation Virtual Reality
Background: Virtual Reality (VR) is an immersive technology, which transports the user to a three-dimensional ‘virtual world’ and is increasingly used as an innovative treatment modality in various aspects of healthcare. The use of immersive VR in the management of musculoskeletal conditions is relatively new and research is required to demonstrate its effectiveness in this field. Aim: The aim of this narrative review is to explore the effectiveness of immersive VR interventions in the management of musculoskeletal conditions. Methods: A literature search was carried out on the following databases: Pubmed, Scopus and Medline using the following keywords: Virtual Reality and Pain. Studies of any design were included if they reported clinical outcomes following an immersive VR intervention for individuals with musculoskeletal pain. Results: Thirteen studies which investigated the effectiveness of immersive VR in the management of musculoskeletal conditions were identified. Studies included people with various musculoskeletal conditions: neck pain (5), low back pain (1), complex regional pain syndrome (4), peripheral nerve injury (1), fibromyalgia (1) and total knee replacement (2). Only five randomized controlled trials were found. Outcome measures included but were not limited to pain, range of motion and disability. Conclusion: Although the current findings are promising and demonstrate that immersive VR interventions may have a useful role in musculoskeletal management and rehabilitation, no conclusive clinical recommendations can be made based on the low quality of available research. Future research should follow a framework with clear standards leading to robust and meaningful outcomes that will guide clinical practice using immersive VR.
Grant Details