What You Should Know:
– AppliedVR, an immersive therapeutics pioneer, conducted a large randomized controlled trial (RCT) on virtual reality (VR) therapy for treating chronic low back pain (CLBP) at home.
– Results of the study were published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Digital Health and demonstrated that AppliedVR’s RelieVRx program produced clinically meaningful improvements in adults with CLBP.
– AppliedVR aims to provide a non-pharmacological and non-invasive approach to treating chronic pain, with potential for long-lasting effects.
The RelieVRx Program Study and Results
The study included data from over 1,000 participants, with approximately half undergoing treatment with the RelieVRx program over eight weeks. Participants completing the RelieVRx program experienced an average reduction of 2.0 points in pain intensity on a numerical rating scale from zero to 10, along with a 2.3-point reduction in pain interference.
The RelieVRx program is a self-administered behavioral skills VR program authorized by the FDA for treating CLBP, incorporating principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, diaphragmatic breathing, biofeedback, cognition and emotion regulation, mindfulness, and pain education. Each chapter of interactive VR therapy builds upon the last to induce neuroplasticity, regulating neural regions associated with pain for long-lasting change. In previous clinical research, the RelieVRx program was shown to deliver durable effects up to 24 months after treatment completion.
Impact of Chronic Pain
The study aligns with AppliedVR’s efforts to secure reimbursement through CMS and expand access to its VR therapy for veterans through VA sites. Chronic pain is a significant healthcare concern with substantial economic and societal costs in the United States. Research has suggested that more than 72 million Americans suffer from chronic low back pain, with the condition being a leading cause of disability.”
“Pain is a complex condition that requires a multidisciplinary treatment approach. However, traditional clinical guidelines have over-relied on medications or surgical procedures, which can be costly and ineffective over the long term,” said Dr. Beth Darnall, AppliedVR chief science advisor, who co-authored the study. “This landmark study builds on our previous research at a much larger scale and demonstrates that RelieVRx can be a powerful tool in providers’ tool belts for treating people experiencing chronic low back pain.”