for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
healthy people welcome
at UC Davis
study started
estimated completion:
Naileshni Singh (ucdavis) Samir Sheth (ucdavis)



This study aims to evaluate the effect of Virtual Reality (VR) as a distraction method to help those patients undergoing trigger points therapy to reduce anxiety and increase patient satisfaction. Half of the participants will wear VR gear, meanwhile the other half will be in control group, which will not wear VR headset, only the normal care.

Official Title

Virtual Reality Distraction for Anxiety Reduction During Trigger Points Procedures in Pain Medicine Clinic


trigger points can cause a wide range of pain symptoms; pain in the anterior shoulder and down the arm, headache pain, back pain, hip pain, knee pain, frozen shoulder pain, and other symptoms. Local anesthetic injections and lidocaine injections are common "wet" needling treatments for trigger points injections. The proposed mechanism by which trigger points injections alleviate pain is based on mechanical disruption of the taut bands of muscle with palpation based needling. During injections, patients may feel an intensified pain and a twitch response.

Distraction has been proved to be an effective tool in pain management, and it can also be used for a variety of medical procedures. By engaging in assigned tasks, pain and anxiety are assumed to be lessened throughout the procedure, while leaving patients less occupied by pain stimuli. . An immersive virtual environment may be preferable to medications such as sedatives, due to side effects and prolonged discharge from procedure suite. Occasionally, medications may not even be available in a busy interventional pain suite. At the UCD pain clinic, we do not offer sedating medications for bedside procedures like trigger point injections. By wearing VR headset, patients may feel less tense, anxious, and painful during trigger point injections.


Pain Management virtual reality trigger point injections Analgesics Virtual Reality headset


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Patients aged over 18 years old, who are referred to UC Davis Pain Medicine Clinic and are candidates for trigger point injections, are English speaking and can understand oral and written instructions

You CAN'T join if...

  • Patients who have high risk of motion sickness, seizure disorder, visual/hearing impairment, prisoners or are pregnant are not eligible for this study.


  • University of California, Davis accepting new patients
    Sacramento California 95817 United States


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Davis
Lead Scientists
Naileshni Singh
Samir Sheth
Study Type
Last Updated
November 3, 2017