Low back pain attenuation employing virtual reality physiotherapy

  • Tatiana Ortegon-Sarmiento Universidad Militar Nueva Granada
  • Lina Penuela Universidad Militar Nueva Granada
  • Alvaro Uribe-Quevedo Ontario Tech University


Pain can negatively impact the quality of life by affecting daily activities that can lead to work absenteeism and depression. Pain evaluation and treatment is necessary to provide adequate health interventions. According to the World Health Organization, low back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders requiring physical therapy, and the use of pharmacology treatment in chronic cases. However, adherence to therapy has shown to be challenging due to discomfort, lack of feedback when unsupervised, or boredom caused by the repetitive and monotonous nature of exercising. Additionally, pain perception is influenced by culture, belief, and gender amongst others, leading to research on attenuators such as deep breaths, listening of music, or the use of engaging experiences such as exergames to improve therapy adherence. This paper presents the evaluation of three virtual environments designed to modulate low back pain by means of the visual analog scale (VAS) to assess pain perception and the System Usability Scale (SUS). The results indicate that two of the three environments showed a positive impact on pain perception. The VAS reported by the participants for the second and the third environment was the same or lower when using the virtual environment, the first environment represented better results for the 60\% of the participants meanwhile, the other 40\% perceived higher pain. Finally, the participants found the scenarios usable with a SUS score average of 83, 78.5, and 88.5 for each environment, respectively.
Palavras-chave: low back pain, visual analog scale, system usability scale, virtual environments
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ORTEGON-SARMIENTO, Tatiana; PENUELA, Lina; URIBE-QUEVEDO, Alvaro. Low back pain attenuation employing virtual reality physiotherapy. In: SIMPÓSIO DE REALIDADE VIRTUAL E AUMENTADA (SVR), 22. , 2020, Evento Online. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2020 . p. 428-432.