Everybody hurts sometimes. With those three words, REM may have written the truest phrase in rock history. But everybody doesn’t hurt equally, and some people hurt all of the time. For those not in chronic pain, it might come as a surprise to learn just how common it is and how often opiates and other pharmaceutical solutions fall short. Is there a chance that the answer could be virtual reality? “Chronic pain is generally defined as pain that has lasted three months or longer. It 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 pain remains woefully inadequate. As Daniel Clauw, who runs the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, put it in a 2019 lecture, there isn’t ‘any drug in any chronic-pain state that works in better than one out of three people.’ He went on to say that nonpharmacological therapy should instead be ‘front and center in managing chronic pain — rather than opioids, or for that matter, any of our drugs.'” NYT (Gift Article): Can Virtual Reality Help Ease Chronic Pain? If you’re a chronic pain sufferer, any reality, virtual or otherwise, is preferable to the one you’re living in.