Virtual reality could treat neck pain: study

Virtual reality is increasingly used to treat anxiety and other mental health problems.

Tricking the eye into thinking the neck is turned less than it really is by means of virtual reality could diminish chronic neck pain, according to researchers in Australia.

Participants were seated in chairs, wearing virtual reality headset Oculus Rift that displayed an indoor scene or a nature scene and recorded head movements using sensors.

They were asked to turn their heads to observe the scene and the visual cues often purposefully understated how far they needed to turn their heads.

Doing this helped them increase their range of pain-free motion, for they gained an average of 6 percent more rotation than they had at the beginning of the study, which was published in the journal Psychological Science.