One year ago, Bonnie Honjas was riding in the back seat of a car in Oregon when a semi truck sideswiped her vehicle and dragged it down 700 feet of highway. The accident left her with nerve pain in her neck, left shoulder and arm.
Honjas tried everything from chiropractic medicine to traditional physical therapy to ease her discomfort. But nothing helped. A massage therapist, she was unable to work, making her even more worried that she might never heal.
But then she met with a physical therapist at Providence Health & Services in Portland who’s helping her find reprieve from her pain with a high-tech treatment: virtual reality.
HP is partnering with Firsthand Technology, a VR healthcare company, to equip healthcare centers like Providence with new innovations for helping patients with pain management. Through the use of therapeutic games, VR is helping doctors and patients like Honjas think about and treat pain in new ways. Lately, Honjas has found relief in a Firsthand game called GLOW! that temporarily immerses users in a dreamy, firefly-filled virtual forest, effectively interrupting the brain’s pain signals and giving patients a mental respite from their chronic physical discomfort.