Research

Publications

Case Series

Embodiment in Virtual Reality for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Case Series

Michael Trujillo, PhD, Anthony Alvarez, BS,  Lincoln Nguyen, BS, James Petros, MD, MBA

This case series provides evidence that embodiment in virtual reality improves symptoms of persistent chronic low back pain. We propose a mechanism by which virtual embodiment may improve chronic pain symptoms by recontextualizing sensory feedback from the body as patients engage in functional rehabilitation exercises while in virtual reality.

Citation: Trujillo MS, Alvarez AF, Nguyen L, Petros J. Embodiment in Virtual Reality for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Case Series. J Pain Res. 2020;13:3131-3137. Published 2020 Nov 25. doi:10.2147/JPR.S275312

Whitepaper

Embodiment in Virtual Reality as a Digital Therapeutic for the Treatment of Low Back Pain

Michael Trujillo, PhD, Anthony Alvarez, BS,  Lincoln Nguyen, BS, Jon Weinberg, MBA, James Petros, MD, MBA

Karuna Labs Inc. has developed the Karuna Virtual Embodiment Training™ (KVET™) system to address the need for alternative, non-invasive, non-addictive methods to treat chronic pain. KVET™ uses a combination of virtual environments and avatars that provide visual feedback during chronic pain functional rehabilitation. Our key innovation is the application of virtualreality (VR) to improve patients’ willingness and ability to perform physical therapy (PT) and to improve the effectiveness of PT for the treatment of chronic pain.

Research Pipeline

INSTITUTION
DESIGN | STATUS
PI

Penn Medicine

A randomized controlled trial on patients with chronic low back pain

Status: Ongoing, actively recruiting
Dr. Michael Ashburn, MD, MPH, MBA.
Director, Pain Medicine and Palliative Care Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Karuna Labs

A randomized controlled trial on KarunaHOME for patients with general chronic shoulder pain 

Status: Ongoing, actively recruiting
Dr. Michael Trujillo, PhD
VP of Clinical Affairs, Karuna Labs

UCSF

Inpatient Trial: PRISM (Pain Relief with Individualized brain StiMulation)

Status: Ongoing, actively recruiting
Dr. Prasad Shirvalkar, MD, PhD
Neurologist and Pain Medicine Specialist UCSF Dept. of Anesthesia

Georgia State University

Validation and feasibility of KarunaHOME for use in physical therapy

Status: Ongoing, actively recruiting
Dr. Sujay Galen, PhD
Chair, Department of Physical Therapy, Georgia State University

Conference Abstracts & Posters

01.

Karuna Society for Neuroscience 2019 Poster

02.

Karuna CALSIPP 2019 Poster

03.

Karuna Pain Week 2019 Poster

04.

Immersive Virtual Embodiment in Pain Relief

Clinical Evidence on VR and Rehabilitation

480

Journal articles *

93

Randomized

controlled trials *

26

Meta-analyses articles *

*Searched by Karuna Labs, Inc. March 2021

Select Peer-Reviewed Research

DESIGN Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

An 8-week self-administered at-home behavioral skills-based virtual reality program for chronic low back pain: Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted during COVID-19

Self-administered VR therapy for chronic pain improves pain intensity and pain-related interference with activity, mood, and stress

DESIGN Randomized controlled trial

Virtual reality for management of pain in hospitalized patients: A randomized comparative effectiveness trial

VR significantly reduces pain versus an active control condition in hospitalized patients (N = 120; 61 VR; 59 Control)

DESIGN Randomized controlled trial

Virtual reality distraction induces hypoalgesia in patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial

Virtual reality had large significant effect in reducing sensitivity to pain in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain   (N = 84; 42 VR; 42 control)

DESIGN Randomized controlled trial

Effect of fully immersive virtual reality treatment combined with exercise in fibromyalgia patients: a randomized controlled trial

Immersive VR significantly improved pain, kinesiophobia, fatigue, physical activity and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients

DESIGN Experimental

Altered visual feedback from an embodied avatar unconsciously influences movement amplitude and muscle activity

Visual augmentation in VR induced compensation and unconscious motor adaptation

DESIGN Experimental

Body movement reduces pain intensity in virtual reality–based analgesia

Moving in immersive virtual reality increases the analgesic effects of VR

DESIGN Feasibility

Virtual reality as a therapy adjunct for fear of movement in veterans with chronic pain: single-arm feasibility study

Findings support the feasibility of VR as an adjunct for Veterans with chronic pain.