A new study published in the American Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy found that using virtual reality for physical therapy can reduce discomfort, reduce the frequency of pain, and improve quality of life for some patients.
The study was conducted by Dr. Mark S. Brown, associate professor of orthopaedics and sports medicine at Emory University.
Brown said VR can reduce the physical discomfort that many people feel when they try to do physical therapy, but there is no evidence that VR reduces the pain.
“What we’ve found is VR is a very good tool for a lot of different types of patients, for people who have had trauma and chronic pain and who are experiencing a lot less of their body’s natural functions, or for people with some other health problems,” Brown said.
“The best way to understand that is if you do the exercise, the exercise will help.
It doesn’t mean it’s the best way for you to exercise.”
Brown said VR allows people to do exercises they would normally be able to only use on the couch, and it has been shown to reduce the amount of time spent in the office and on the computer.
The researchers used a virtual reality game, The Rift, to determine which types of exercises patients would benefit from using virtual, virtual, and virtual.
VR can be used for everything from exercise to weight training, Brown said, and is a great tool for people struggling with physical pain.
“The idea is, how do we create a new way of being at home that has the ability to be a very safe and pleasant experience for people?”
Brown said of virtual reality.
“And that’s where we’re trying to create this new VR.”
Brown believes virtual reality is a way to address some of the issues people have with physical therapy.
“I don’t think physical therapy is for everyone, but I do think VR can help people who might not be able or interested in physical therapy,” Brown added.
Brown is working with a number of health care organizations to develop a new VR app that could be used to assist with physical therapists.
“They’re working on developing VR apps to assist people with chronic pain, who are unable to do the traditional physical therapy sessions because they’re dealing with chronic medical conditions,” Brown told ABC News.
“So VR will help them do more effective physical therapy and help them stay active.”
Brown noted that a lot can change in two years.
“You’re talking about two years, so we’re going to see things that are really exciting, things that have been in the works for years, and things that people have never seen before,” he said.
Brown has been working with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to help create the app.
“It’s really exciting,” he told ABCNews.com.
“But it’s going to take a lot longer than two years to really get the technology to really deliver that.
The real breakthroughs are coming from the technology that’s developed in the last 20 years.”