The Sunday Read: ‘Can Virtual Reality Help Ease Chronic Pain?’

Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of long-term disability in the world. By some measures, 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, in part because the power of medicine to relieve it remains inadequate.

Helen Ouyang, a physician and contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, explores the potentially groundbreaking use of virtual reality in the alleviation of acute pain, as well as anxiety and depression, and meets the doctors and entrepreneurs who believe this “nonpharmacological therapy” is a good alternative to prescription drugs.

A lush forest, a snow-capped mountain, a desert at sunset — could these virtual experiences really be the answer for managing chronic pain?

This story was written by Helen Ouyang and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

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