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Using Technology for Chronic Pain Management

5/12/2016 2:00 PM

​Over the last four years of hosting webinars, we've looked at many topics related to chronic pain management, such as self-management programs, mindfulness, and exercise.

Technology has become a mainstay in everyday life for a large portion of the population. We use our phones and computers to navigate the streets, to document our lives, to monitor our health, and to connect with our family and friends both locally and around the world.

There are exciting advances being made in how we utilize technology to help in managing chronic pain. We have hosted several webinars which discuss current research on using technology as part of your pain management strategy.

Utilizing Science, Technology and the Arts to Transform Pain

In this webinar, Professor Diane Gromala discusses three exciting ways that technology is being developed and researched in her lab to help people manage pain.

  1. Immersive virtual reality (IVR) is being used to help people with chronic pain learn mindfulness meditation.
  2. Robotics that read biofeedback from people with chronic pain are being used to reduce anxiety. 
  3. Social media is being used to combat social isolation often experienced by people with chronic pain.

Digital Health Technologies: Improving Outcomes in Pediatric Chronic Pain

Children, like adults with chonic pain, often do not get integrated care for their chronic pain. Dr. Jennifer Stinson believes that technology can help fill in this gap, particularly with children and youth. She provides information on three tech-based tools that can help adolecents assess and manage their pain:

  1. Pain Quilt App -  An online and mobile-based pain tracking tool that had high ratings from adolescent users.
  2. Pain Squad App - A mobile app that turns tracking pain and medication use/effectiveness into a game.
  3. Teens Taking Charge: Managing Arthritis Online - An online self-management tool for teens with arthritis.

Dr.  Stinson is in the midst of creating a fully comprehensive pain management app for youth called iCanCope which will hopefully come out in the next year or so.

Using Technology to Increase Access to Pain Management

In this webinar, Dr. Blake Dear discusses the work he has been doing to bring self-management programs online. His online pain management program, The Pain Course, is currently being developed and tested in Australia. The Pain Course entails 8 weeks of online content and exercises, automated emails for follow-up, and weekly check-ins with a therapist online. One of the main benefits of moving self-management programs online is so that more people can access them than the current in-person courses that are often provided in larger cities.

Can Wearables Support People with Arthritis to be Physically Active?

This webinar, happening next week, will feature Dr. Linda Li discussing the positives and negatives of wearable technologies (FitBit, iWatch, etc) in getting people with arthritis physically active.

You can register for this webinar now.

Other Technology Resources

If you are interested in more apps that can help you manage your pain, mental health, or overall health, you can read some of our past blog posts on those topics:


Last Modified: 11/7/2017 3:59 PM