Can an optical illusion help arthritis pain?

A woman places her hand inside the Mirage box.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK were demonstrating a body distortion illusion to visitors at a Community Open Day. They invited people to place their hands inside a special box which uses a combination of a video image and mirrors to create the illusion that fingers are being stretched and manipulated. One older woman about to place her hand inside the box said "Please be careful," because she had arthritis. Both the woman and the researchers were surprised when the illusion of stretching provided real relief from her arthritis pain. A later trial of twenty elderly arthritis sufferers discovered that 85% of them found the treatment reduced their pain by 50%.

Illusion could halve the pain of osteoarthritis

- Pain relief – it is just an illusion - It was supposed to be a trick of the mind to entertain the crowds, The Telegraph, UK>>
- Eerie Imaging Illusion Reduces Arthritis Pain, Radiology Daily>>

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