Distraction

distractions image

Virtual Reality (VR) applications have emerged as a non-pharmacological alternative or a distraction therapy for both acute and chronic pain.1

  • Pain is an uncomfortable feeling signaling that something is wrong and it is classified as acute or chronic. The best way to treat pain is to manage the symptoms. If the source of pain can’t be treated, or isn’t known, clinicians can offer options for pain management.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) applications have emerged as a non-pharmacological alternative or a distraction therapy for both acute and chronic pain.1

  • Research shows that VR is an effective pain distraction tool for the short-term relief of both acute and chronic pain — often associated with such conditions as fibromyalgia, phantom limb pain, and 
 regional specific pain from past injuries or illnesses.2 The research also shows that VR is effective as a distraction therapy when it encompasses the following characteristics2:

    1. Presence or sense of immersion in the environment that allows for a realistic experience
    2. Interactivity defined as the degree of engagement the participant has in a virtual scenario which encourages physical involvement and pain tolerance
    3. Customization that offers participants autonomy to choose a scenario most suited to their needs/preferences
    4. Social interaction in the VR environment which can augment distraction from pain
    5. Embodiment of the virtual avatar which describes the degree to which physical movements translate to the virtual movement of the avatar.
  • Research on VR use for pain distraction therapy is enabling the creative use of VR to manage an array of pain types within chronic and acute pain. VR’s characteristics of immersion, embodiment and others are effective in distracting individuals from their state of pain and provide some much-needed relief.

Curious how REAL System can support your patient?

pt on tablet and unit

REAL® Activities for Distraction

Learn how REAL therapeutic and wellness activities are designed to engage individuals in therapy.

Distraction technique for pain, stress, improving cervical motion,
tolerance of a busier environment, improve gaze stabilization,
cognitive focus and function

  • All REAL activities

Engage a wide rehab patient population including high-acuity and high-functioning patients

Whether you are working with high-acuity patients who lack upper extremity (UE) stability or high-functioning patients who require new challenges like bimanual coordination and increased speed, REAL System has you covered. Schedule a free Demo to learn more about REAL System from our dedicated team of Care Specialists.

1. Mallari B, Spaeth EK, Goh H, Boyd BS. Virtual reality as an analgesic for acute and chronic pain in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pain Res. 2019;12:2053-2085. doi:10.2147/JPR.S200498
2. Pourmand A, Davis S, Marchak A, Whiteside T, Sikka N. Virtual Reality as a Clinical Tool for Pain Management. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2018;22(8):53. doi:10.1007/s11916-018-0708-2

Procedural and operative techniques and considerations are illustrative examples from healthcare provider experience. Healthcare providers' treatment and technique decisions will vary based on their medical judgment. Individual results may vary depending on patient-specific attributes and other factors.

Caution: Federal (USA) law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a healthcare provider. Prior to use, please refer to the Instructions for Use (IFU) for complete product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, potential adverse events, and detailed instructions for use. Please click here for the complete IFU. Please contact your REAL Care Specialist for more information. 20722, Rev. A 03/21 USA

REAL® System: Upper Body Rehabilitation

REAL® Immersive System is an award-winning rehabilitation technology using virtual reality (VR) designed to empower patients with engaging therapeutic activities that offer endless possibilities.

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REAL i-Series™: Well-Being and Cognition

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FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the REAL® System, how to order, what activities are included, and more.

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Therapeutic & Wellness Overview

REAL® System, with its focus on patient physical, occupational, and cognitive rehabilitation, leverages extensive input from rehabilitation experts to offer multiple activities that cover a range of therapeutic areas.

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Upper Body

Upper body rehabilitation with REAL System offers patients a variety of activities designed to strengthen upper body movement through range of motion, endurance, strengthening, and coordination to support functional tasks and activities.

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Core and Balance

Core and balance rehabilitation with REAL System aims to help patients sit up and maintain posture for an extended length of time. Activities are designed to promote postural control and stability through strength and functional-skill building exercises.

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REAL System is designed to help patients build skills to perform daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and grooming. Attention to these basic activities, which require healthy doses of practice and motivation, is essential to rehabilitation experiences designed to promote functional independence.

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Distraction

Virtual reality can be an effective pain distraction tool for short-term relief of both acute and chronic pain during rehabilitation. Patients may benefit from using REAL System as a pain distraction tool during their rehabilitation journeys.

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Low Stimulation Environments

REAL System offers a variety of low-key environments, each designed to help patients focus on specific therapeutic tasks as they pursue individual rehabilitation goals. The reduction or removal of certain environmental distractions can benefit rehabilitation interventions by fostering relaxation and mitigating stress.

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Brandon: Functional Movement Rehabilitation

Brandon suffered from a stroke that, among other deficits, caused right-sided weakness and speech issues. Brandon, who first started using REAL® System in October 2020, continues to use the virtual reality system as part of his regular rehabilitation efforts.

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Derek: Core Strengthening and Trunk Control Rehabilitation

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Deb: Stroke Survivor

Deb had a terrifying experience while asleep; she had a stroke. Follow Deb’s rehabilitation journey and recovery process with REAL System.

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Pete: Core and Postural Control Rehabilitation

Pete was in a coma for three months following a life-threatening motorcycle accident. He suffered from multiple impairments caused by strokes, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord injury (SCI). Thanks to REAL System and the creativity of Pete’s therapist, Pete’s rehabilitation sessions have been as engaging as they are challenging.

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Jasmine: Upper Body Rehabilitation

Jasmine suffers from right spastic hemiparesis, a condition in which muscles on the upper right side are in a constant state of contraction. Since using REAL System, Jasmine has become more engaged and motivated in her course of rehabilitation therapy.

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Ray: Functional Rehabilitation

Ray started therapy after a devastating fall that affected his upper body strength, core strength, sitting balance, and overall endurance. With REAL System, Ray has improved his reach range, vertically and horizontally, as well as self-care management skills.

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Sarah: Cognitive Rehabilitation

After a stroke, Sarah suffers from reduced hand strength and control. Using the REAL System, she enjoys relaxing activities that have helped motivate and inspire her during her recovery.

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Dr. Tudor Jovin, Chief of Neurology

Dr. Tudor Jovin, the Chief of Neurology at Cooper University Health, discusses the effect current rehabilitation practices and new technologies like virtual reality will have on the future of patient stroke and therapy care.

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Dr. Rohini Kumar, Physiatrist

Dr. Rohini Kumar, Physiatrist at Cooper University Health, provides an evidence-based review of virtual reality use in the rehabilitation space and shares her experience with REAL® System.

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David E. Owens, Director, Rehabilitation Services

David E. Owens, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Cooper University Health shares his team's experiences with REAL System during occupational and physical therapy sessions.

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Cooper University Health Care Q&A

The team at Cooper University Health discusses REAL System and their thoughts on the future of virtual reality technology in the rehabilitation space.

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Stroke Rehabilitation

Results from multiple studies show that virtual reality systems specifically built for stroke rehabilitation demonstrate high impact on recovery, body function, and activities of daily living (ADLs).

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Cognitive Impairment

Studies show support for using virtual reality-enhanced rehabilitation techniques with patients who have mild TBI, such as concussions, to create lasting positive outcomes in terms of motor and cognitive skill development and more.

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Concussion/TBI Rehabilitation

Research indicates that virtual reality (VR)-based assessments used in concussion and TBI rehabilitation offer clinical advantages over traditional assessments.

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Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) Therapy

Research indicates that virtual reality (VR)-augmented neurorehab effectively induces activation of motor imagery and processing systems, which in turn activate downstream cortical areas involved in movement execution in relation to spinal cord injuries (SCI).

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Vestibular Rehabilitation

Research highlights long-term effects of vestibular rehabilitation with the use of virtual reality (VR).

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Parkinsons

Study results from a comparison of two physical exercise-based programs show that – in relation to Parkinson’s - virtual reality (VR) rehabilitation was more effective in improving gait, balance, upper limb function and mental well-being than conventional rehabilitation.

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Chronic Neck Pain

Research highlights the evaluation of short- and intermediate-term effects of kinematic training using virtual reality (VR) in patients with chronic neck pain.

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Chronic Back Pain

Research highlights the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) in patients with chronic back pain during rehabilitation.

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Therapy

Systematic review concludes that virtual reality (VR) represents a motivational and effective addition to traditional motor rehabilitation for MS patients.

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Awards & News

REAL® Immersive System has had stand-out success in the following award categories: 2021 gold winner in Medical and Health, 2020 winner in Virtual Tech, and 2020 winner in Health & Wellness.

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Events

REAL System team supports healthcare and technology events across the country. We hope you will join us at one of our upcoming events!

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About Us

Penumbra, Inc., headquartered in Alameda, California, is a global healthcare company focused on innovative therapies. Penumbra designs, develops, manufactures and markets novel products and has a broad portfolio that addresses challenging medical conditions in markets with significant unmet need. Penumbra supports healthcare providers, hospitals and clinics in more than 100 countries.

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