SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients with chronic shoulder pain have the potential to experience improved range of motion using mirroring techniques in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment, according to a new study. The findings come from Karuna Labs, creator of personalized functional restoration and chronic pain management programs using VR technology to retrain the brain.
The study evaluated 15 patients with chronic shoulder pain and measured range of motion on three planes for each arm: shoulder flexion (arms straight above the head), shoulder scaption (arms out to the sides), and shoulder abduction (arms straight out and away from the body).
Karuna Labs performed the study to measure the effects on patients using its Virtual Embodiment TherapyTM technology, which applies the following:
- Graded Motor Imagery
- Corrective exercises from physical therapy which focus on performing activities of daily living
- Real-time position tracking
The study provides evidence that Mirror Visual Feedback (MVF), originally developed to help with neuropathic pain, in VR can influence the function of a non-affected limb if a patient perceives that function as occurring in a painful limb.
This study provides a framework to investigate whether training MVF in VR can improve function in chronic pain patients whose range of motion is limited by pain. Furthermore, these results may lead to greater knowledge of the mechanisms by which MVF can relieve chronic pain in additional areas.
"These study results using our proprietary VR technology have immense implications for rehabilitation in patients suffering from chronic pain," said Lincoln Nguyen, CEO of Karuna Labs. "Not only does our Virtual Embodiment Training™ provide measurable improvements in range of motion for patients with chronic pain, but it may have the potential to become a safe alternative to surgery and opioids upon further study."
A paired T-test revealed a significant decrease in range of motion when the non-affected arm was mirrored onto the painful arm (moving the non-affected arm but seeing painful side move) for shoulder flexion (t = 2.761, P = 0.019) and for shoulder scaption (t = 3.182, P = 0.009). No significant effect was observed for shoulder abduction when the non-affected arm was mirrored onto painful arm (t = −0.04, P = 0.96). These results indicate that range of motion for flexion and scaption is reduced in a non-affected limb when patients perceive the movement as occurring in their painful limb.
To learn more, visit www.karunalabs.com.
About Karuna Labs:
Karuna Labs creates personalized chronic pain management programs using Virtual Reality (VR) technology that retrains the brain to perceive movement as non-threatening. Designed to restore function, Karuna Pro is used in clinics around the country, while Karuna Home is offered direct-to-patients for home use through workers' compensation insurance.
Founded by neuroscientist turned VR engineer Lincoln Nguyen, Karuna Labs focuses on improving the patient's quality of life by helping them better adhere to their plans of care and improving their ranges of motion. For more information, visit www.karunalabs.com or email [email protected].
SOURCE Karuna Labs