The next time you habitually search your bathroom cabinet for some pain medication, you may want to consider playing a video game first. Research has shown that psychology plays an important part in how we experience both acute and chronic pain — and that painful sensations can be manipulated by what we think and feel.
Such approaches to pain relief are looking increasingly promising thanks to rapid advances in technology. Virtual reality games are already showing promise in tackling acute pain, seemingly by simply helping us focus on other things. Now a new study has shed some light on how this might work and how it could be improved in the future.