Watching scenes could help ease chronic pain symptoms, study ...

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Virtually painless! Watching soothing 360-degree scenes of the Arctic in can help to ease chronic pain, scientists claim People were shown icebergs, freezing oceans and sprawling icescapes  Volunteers were exposed to on-going pain and small electric shocks Researchers hope it could help people with chronic pain condition in future

By Ryan Morrison For Mailonline

Published: 12:44 GMT, 8 November 2019 | Updated: 13:28 GMT, 8 November 2019

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Watching calming videos including Arctic scenes helps to relieve 'intense burning pain' and could treat chronic pain in the future, a study has found.

Using a headset, researchers played full 360 degree views to people in pain and found it helped to reduce how much they were suffering. 

It was found that using the technology helped to not only reduced people's perceived pain levels but also their sensitivity to painful stimuli. 

The team found that when watching a virtual reality scene of the Arctic the pain scores registered by their volunteers were lower than when not watching the scenes

The team found that when watching a scene of the Arctic the pain scores registered by their volunteers were lower than when not watching the scenes

People were shown scenes of icebergs, freezing oceans and sprawling icescapes as part of the small proof-of-concept study. 

This adds to the 'growing evidence' for the potential of technology to help patients with chronic pain, according to the team from Imperial College London.

As part of the study 15 healthy volunteers had a topical cream applied that chills the skin and makes the mouth burn. The team then also applied small electric shocks to test their reaction to external stimuli.

While the results are encouraging, they do not offer concrete proof of VR's positive effects because the test involved a limited set of results based on only a small number of healthy volunteers, researchers said.

The team say they would also want to test the outcome of alternative scenes, beyond just Arctic vistas.

People were shown scenes of icebergs, freezing oceans and sprawling icescapes as part of the small proof-of-concept study

People were shown scenes of icebergs, freezing oceans and sprawling icescapes as part of the small proof-of-concept study

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