Virtual reality, more often than not, is touted as a feature of state-of-the-art video games with headsets that allow players to see all around them, beyond the boundaries of their monitors.

But the technology's potential extends beyond games.

A team led by Masahiko Sumitani, head of the department of pain and palliative medicine at the University of Tokyo Hospital, has succeeded in using VR to treat phantom limb pain, a condition in which amputees or people with damaged nerves still feel pain from body parts that no longer exist.