Management of chronic musculoskeletal pain & virtual reality
published in July - August 2019 - in Il Fisioterapista - issue n.4
Virginia Colibazzi, Adriano Coladonato, Benedetta Cecchini Saulini

Merksey defined chronic pain as “a pain that persists beyond normal healing time and/or over 3-6 months”. The impairment of daily life and the frequent curtailment of activity caused by chronic pain and long-term care often result in social consequences and represent a growing problem for the health systems. In recent years, thanks to the development of new technologies, virtual reality has been introduced into the world of rehabilitation. It consists of a simulation in which computer graphics are used to create a realistic-looking virtual world. Interactivity engages participants by providing them with a feeling of total immersion and allowing them to actively experience, with pleasure and fun, the action on the screen. We conducted a literature review in order to examine published studies on the effects of virtual reality in adult subjects with chronic musculoskeletal pain, considering the intensity of pain as the main outcome.