11 reasons why case managers should embrace VR for recovery

Published on 29 Aug 2023

Woman wearing VR goggles pointing while she uses them as part of her recovery

In the realm of injury case management, incorporating innovative solutions for pain management may assist in facilitating a successful recovery for injured people.

Virtual reality (VR) technology has emerged as a powerful tool in this domain, offering numerous benefits that may support and enhance the rehabilitation process.

In this blog, we will explore 11 compelling reasons why injury case managers should embrace VR pain management to support recovery.

  1. Non-pharmacological pain relief - VR may provide a non-pharmacological approach to pain management, reducing the reliance on medications and potential side effects. 
  2. Distraction from pain - VR creates immersive environments that divert attention away from pain, providing a distraction mechanism that may significantly alleviate discomfort. 
  3. Enhanced engagement and motivation - VR-based pain management interventions transform rehabilitation exercises into interactive and engaging experiences, fostering increased motivation and adherence to treatment plans. 
  4. Personalised treatment - VR technology allows for customisation of virtual environments and scenarios, tailoring the pain management experience to the specific needs and preferences of each injured person.
  5. Reduces anxiety and stress - VR environments can be designed to promote relaxation and stress reduction, offering a therapeutic escape that may contribute to overall mental wellbeing during the recovery process. 
  6. Gradual exposure therapy - VR enables controlled exposure to triggering situations, which may aid injured people with psychological trauma or anxiety related to their injury. This gradual exposure therapy can reduce fears and anxieties over time. 
  7. Cost-effective and accessible - VR technology has become more affordable and accessible, allowing injured people to access pain management interventions both in clinical settings and remotely at home, which may reduce healthcare expenses. 
  8. Improves functional outcomes - VR-based rehabilitation exercises promote motor skills development, balance, coordination, and range of motion, which may lead to improved functional outcomes for injured people. 
  9. Provides real-time feedback - VR applications can offer immediate feedback on performance, technique, and progress, enabling injured workers to make necessary adjustments and track their own improvement throughout the rehabilitation process.
  10. Increases collaboration and communication - VR pain management interventions may facilitate better communication and collaboration between injured people, healthcare providers, and case managers, allowing for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to recovery.
  11. Evidence-based efficacy - Research studies have shown the efficacy of VR technology in pain management and rehabilitation, providing a solid foundation for its adoption and implementation in injury case management. 

Incorporating virtual reality pain management into injury case management can revolutionise the recovery process. 

By offering non-pharmacological pain relief, distraction from pain, enhanced engagement and motivation, and personalised treatment options, VR technology holds immense potential.

It may reduce anxiety, supports gradual exposure therapy, and improves functional outcomes, all while being cost-effective and accessible. 

With real-time feedback and increased collaboration, VR pain management interventions are evidence-based solutions that align with the best practices of injury case management.

APM WorkCare’s VR empowered pain recovery program combines the modern neuroscience of pain and the biology of recovery to create a personalised treatment plan for people with chronic pain.

The service includes education modules for participants to understand how they experience and think about pain to improve recovery.  

To learn more about APM WorkCare’s VR Pain Recovery service call our team on 1800 276 927 or email workcare.customers@apm.net.au


•    Hoffman, H. G., & Sharar, S. R. (2007). Virtual reality therapy for pain management: A practical guide. Handbook of Pain Management, 423-439.
•    Jones, T., Moore, T., & Choo, J. (2016). The impact of virtual reality on chronic pain. PLoS One, 11(12), e0167523.
•    Matamala-Gomez, M., & Malloy, K. M. (2018). Game-based virtual reality interventions to improve upper limb motor function and quality of life after stroke: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Physical Therapy, 98(10), 855-865.
•    Herrero, R., García-Palacios, A., Castilla, D., et al. (2014). Virtual reality for the induction of positive emotions in the treatment of fibromyalgia: A pilot study over acceptability, satisfaction, and the effect of virtual reality on mood. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(6), 379-384.