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Pain Management – It’s Game Over For Pain

By Seomul Evans

Any parent will agree that video gaming is one of the biggest distractions ever invented. They are attention-grabbing, time-consuming and extremely addictive. Attempts and pleas to make a child stop while playing an exciting video game will probably be futile. Now, the worst bane of school nights has found its way to pain management clinics – in the form of 3-D virtual reality games. Though it is not exactly the video game console found in our homes, doctors are investing and banking on the same effects that these video games have given children over the years – distraction, immersion and fixation. Only this time, these effects are even more intensified since 3-D virtual reality gaming makes a person think and believe that he is actually and physically participating in the game itself.

It forces us to wonder, when did being too engrossed or distracted become a good thing? Distraction has always been a good thing when it comes to pain management. It is well-settled that pain becomes more manageable and tolerable when a person takes his mind off the pain. Studies reveal that by playing 3-D virtual reality games, acute pain in both children and adults are significantly reduced. Also, stress and anxiety are greatly diminished or even completely removed. With these findings, 3-D virtual reality games will find useful application in painful medical procedures such as chemotherapy and in performing relatively simple yet challenging procedures on children such as drawing of blood. 3-D virtual reality games will also prove to be extremely useful in physical therapy. Experiments also confirm that patients who were undergoing physical therapy and played 3-D virtual reality games ignored or did not pay too much attention to pain. On the other hand, those who did not play felt significantly more pain since they remained anxious and focused on the pain.

But why 3-D virtual reality games and not just ordinary video games or other form of distraction? After all, experiments show that ordinary video games can be used to alleviate pain by mere distraction. 3-D virtual reality games, however, are not just about distracting the brain from feeling the pain. Studies show that persons who are engrossed in 3-D virtual reality games experience so much fun and excitement which causes the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals which are released by the pituitary gland. Endorphins are characterized by a feeling of well-being. They react and occur in the same areas of the brain where pain signals originate. It is also well-accepted that production of endorphins reduce stress and other unpleasant sensations including pain. Using other forms of distraction such as playing ordinary video games on a flat-screen TV did not prompt the release of endorphins and were not as effective in reducing pain.

With all these benefits in mind, it won’t be long before we start seeing 3-D virtual reality games in hospitals, clinics and pain management centers.

Seomul Evans is a senior Medical Internet Marketing expert for leading Dallas Pain Management Specialists.

categories: Medical, health, healthcare, pain, doctors, physicians, hospitals, surgery, surgeons

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Evans, Seomul "Pain Management – It’s Game Over For Pain." Pain Management – It’s Game Over For Pain. 18 Jan. 2011. 20 Jan 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Evans, S (2011, January 18). Pain Management – It’s Game Over For Pain. Retrieved January 20, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Evans, Seomul "Pain Management – It’s Game Over For Pain"

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