This case report concerns a patient with clinically diagnosed moderate-severe insomnia secondary to chronic lower back pain and sciatica, previously treated with hydrocodone, naproxen, cyclobenzaprine and nightly diazepam. He underwent a trial of 20 sessions of virtual reality neurofeedback therapy (VR-NFB) at infra-low frequency, and by the end of 20 sessions achieved sustained analgesia and consequently, a complete resolution of his pain-related insomnia. Follow-up at 1 year confirmed his improvements were sustained, and he maintained his abstinence from sedatives, as observed on the Prescription Monitoring Program for controlled substances. This case highlights the importance of understanding chronic pain and its connection with restorative sleep: incorporating endogenous neuromodulation in behavioral sleep medicine helped to diminish the risk of benzodiazepine use disorder. This may be the first case of complete resolution of chronic pain with comorbid insomnia after treatment with VR-NFB at the infra-low frequency.
Published In/Presented At
Orakpo N, Yuan C, Olukitibi O, Burdette J, Arrington K. Does Virtual Reality Feedback at Infra-Low Frequency Improve Centralized Pain With Comorbid Insomnia While Mitigating Risks for Sedative Use Disorder?: A Case Report. Front Hum Neurosci. 2022 May 18;16:915376. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.915376. PMID: 35664347; PMCID: PMC9158522.
Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry