LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Virtual reality (VR) technology can help ease patient’s chronic and acute pain. But, it can also provide alternatives to popping pills.

Melissa Michael was willing to give the therapy a chance. Michael was dealing with chronic pain since she gave birth to her son a couple of years ago.

“At that point, I was ready to try anything,” said Michael.

She turned to ProRehab Physical Therapy for help. The clinic is piloting the use of the new VR platform in it’s Louisville and Southern Indiana locations. 

Dan Stopher is the clinic director. He said the technique has drastically improved a patient’s results and experience with persistent pain.

“Pretty much anything that’s been hurting for a while, we find benefit with it,” he said.

The VR therapy provides a visual and engaging experience. It also helps patients learn and retain new research about chronic pain and how to deal with it.

The tool can be a weapon against the opioid crisis.

“If we can give patients an alternative to taking pain medication, they don’t need to be on opioids to begin with,” said Stopher.

Michael graduated from the program. She hopes people who are in a similar boat look into all their options when it comes to relieving chronic pain.

“I had tried other physical therapists. I had tried medication and meditation,” said Michael “ I think that the virtual reality was the piece that really got me over the hump.”