Recently, a team from the Pain Recovery Program (PRP) at Memorial Hermann Hospital appeared on the Deborah Duncan morning show to discuss a new treatment implemented in the program–VR or Virtual Reality to help with pain management. A great deal of research is now being done on using this modality with burn victims, veterans returning from the wars, addictions, and phobias. Utilizing the latest technology of VR goggles, a voice over script, special binaural music tracks, and a visual journey, patients are able to gain relief from their conditions. Diane Jooris, shown here with Deborah Duncan Great Day Houston morning show demonstrating the VR system. Dr. Christie Taylor, the program director is leading this and other innovative processes to help people suffering from chronic pain and addiction to prescription narcotics. Painkillers have been prescribed in increasingly problematic ways to help patients get relief from their pain. Unfortunately, the painkillers prescriptions end up in creating an addiction. We had a lively panel discussion about how to begin to manage these problems.
- 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain
- 25.8 million have pain due to diabetes
- 23 million have pain due to heart disease and stroke
- 11.9 million have pain due to cancer
- 26 million between ages 20 and 64 have frequent back pain
- In 2010, 400,000 emergency room visits related to prescription pain relievers
- Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct healthcare costs