While we've looked at situations where virtual reality has been useful in a psychological context, it's also been found to have some therapeutic benefits when applied in patients requiring physical rehabilitation.
Stroke patients have been studied using virtual reality technologies to improve their muscle response after a neurological disability. Given a force-feedback glove (which is used to stimulate resistance), patients were given tasks to gain movement in their hands and fingers. Improvements were retained. Possibly, this has something to do with the motivation of a virtual environment. Most rehab is done in medical offices, and it's been suggested that virtual reality created a more engaging, interesting atmosphere to complete therapy.
Some virtual reality companies also tout the virtual world as a far more interesting place to engage in the often times painful and grueling atmosphere of physical rehabilitation. If you feel the need to get choked up today, cruise online for videos of kids with physical disabilities using virtual reality to play basketball or other sports. A child who uses a wheel chair, for instance, can experience the games without fear of injury. It's a super cool use of virtual reality, and it's not only therapy for the youngster: if you watch one of the videos, you'll probably have a feel-good experience to take with you for the rest of the day.