VRWalk trial – A Virtual Walking Game for Neuropathic Pain in Spinal Cord Injury
(UNSW ethics approval No: HC2109320)
- Currently recruiting
What is the research trial about?
In this trial we will determine if we can use virtual reality walking to help reduce chronic neuropathic
pain for people who’ve had a complete spinal cord injury.
People with an SCI often describe neuropathic (nerve) pain as one of the most challenging issues
they face as it often does not respond to currently available pain treatments.
Recent advances in neuroscience have led to the understanding that changes in certain areas of the
brain, particularly the sensorimotor area - the area responsible for sensation and movement -
contribute to the development of neuropathic pain.
In this trial we will examine whether a new treatment that uses virtual reality to target these areas
of the brain can reduce neuropathic pain.
When we use virtual reality, the brain interprets actions like walking, running, climbing, and touching
that are performed in the virtual world the same as it would interpret those actions if they were
performed in the real world. By virtually walking in a virtual world using the virtual reality walking
intervention, we are providing the brain with input that reactivates the sensorimotor area of the
brain, thus targeting the changes that have played a big part in the development of neuropathic
Participation in the trial involves playing a virtual reality walking game for 10 mins, twice a day for
10-14 days, and completing a series of questionnaires at 6 timepoints over a 12-month period.
*The trial is homebased so anyone across Australia can participate.
Participants can receive a total of $200.00 for completing all trial activities.
If you are interested, there is an opportunity for you to have an MRI as part of the trial. This is not
compulsory - you can still participate in the trial if you prefer not to have one.
All travel and accommodation costs (for you and your carer) are completely covered if you do attend
for an MRI.
To register your interest, please complete and submit the form. The researchers will contact you