How virtual reality for pain management benefits recovery

Published on 23 Aug 2023

Worker stacking shelves in a warehouse safely and pain free with a smile on his face

Virtual reality (VR) technology has emerged as a promising tool in various fields, including healthcare. 

When it comes to pain management for injured people, VR offers several potential benefits.

Here are some key advantages:

Distraction from pain 

VR provides an immersive experience that can divert an injured person's attention away from their pain. By engaging the senses and creating an alternative reality, VR can help reduce the perception of pain and discomfort.

Enhanced relaxation and stress reduction

VR environments can be designed to promote relaxation and stress reduction, which can positively impact pain management. Immersive experiences like tranquil nature scenes or calming virtual environments can induce a sense of calmness, thereby decreasing pain and stress levels.

Increased motivation and adherence to rehabilitation

Rehabilitation programs often involve repetitive exercises that can be monotonous and demotivating for injured workers. VR technology can make these exercises more engaging and enjoyable by transforming them into interactive and game-like experiences. This gamification aspect of VR can increase motivation and adherence to rehabilitation regimens, leading to better outcomes.

Gradual exposure therapy

For workers with psychological trauma or anxiety related to their injury, VR can facilitate gradual exposure therapy. By simulating triggering situations in a controlled virtual environment, injured workers can gradually confront their fears and anxieties, reducing their impact over time.

Improved mental wellbeing

Injured people often experience mental health challenges, such as depression and anxiety, alongside physical pain. VR can provide a therapeutic escape by transporting them to immersive and positive environments. This can improve their overall mental wellbeing and quality of life during the recovery process.

Cost-effectiveness and accessibility

VR technology has become more affordable and accessible in recent years. This means injured people potentially access VR-based pain management interventions both in clinical settings and remotely at home. Virtual reality therapy can be a cost-effective alternative or complement to traditional pain management approaches, reducing healthcare expenses for both the injured person and the employer.

Part of a professional program

It's worth noting that while VR shows promise in pain management for injured people, it is not a standalone solution. 

It should be used as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program under the guidance of healthcare professionals. 

As research continues, virtual reality technology has already seen to have huge potential to revolutionise pain management for injured people. 

By providing distraction, relaxation, motivation, and gradual exposure therapy, VR can contribute to improved pain management outcomes. 

Its cost-effectiveness and accessibility further enhance its appeal as a viable option for injured workers. 

As technology continues to advance, virtual reality holds promise for transforming the rehabilitation experience and enhancing the overall wellbeing of injured people.

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



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