Chronic pain affects many Australians and for those with a spinal cord injury, it's a major challenge that's almost impossible to overcome - even with medication.
But researchers believe there could be a new approach to tackling pain, using the power of virtual reality (VR).
Five years ago, Stuart Hurst suffered a back and brain injury after a near death motorbike accident in Nepal which left him a paraplegic.
"Mentally I'm over the fact that I can't walk but I just have to live with the pain," Hurst told 9News.
Chronic pain affects most spinal cord injury patients, leading the 60-year-old to become a trial volunteer and see whether VR can make a difference to him.
"I'm feeling like I'm sitting on hard concrete for a long time," he told 9News.
Recent advances in the field reveal what's contributing to the problem is the region of the brain, which controls movement and touch has shrunk.
"We want to activate this area in the brain, that the brain thinks its real and by activating this area, hopefully the pain is decreasing," Professor Sylvia Gustin, NeuRA Director Centre of Pain, told 9News.
When patients immerse themselves in virtual reality, it tricks the brain, using specially designed software.
"It's very immersive because you think you're really walking and you're touching and solving puzzles," Gustin adds.
Article originally published on 9News