“Miracle” treatment for arthritis
New techniques for solving medical problems – often with no drugs involved – are fascinating when they start to be recognised. Most of the time I’m very sceptical about so called “miracle” treatments, but I was reading about an optical illusion that seems to help with arthritis.
A team of researchers accidentally found that when people are tricked into believing they are seeing their fingers being moved around inside a box they suffer a major reduction in pain. The idea is to put the hand inside a box with a camera which shows a live image of the finger. A “mirage” is then created apparently showing the fingers being manipulated and pulled.
It was originally developed as toy with children, but when an elderly person with arthritis had a go she immediately said that the pain in her fingers had reduced.
A lot of people with arthritis can’t do the exercises to increase range of motion because of pain, so even a temporary reduction in discomfort could be useful.
I think it’s an exciting treatment because it’s completely non invasive. If it doesn’t work on someone then it doesn’t matter as there’s no harm done. If the idea of tricking the brain into reducing pain works then there are all sorts of problems it could be used for too. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this treatment and the following research that’s going to be done on it.
April 14, 2011 Thursday at 11:10 am