The Food and Drug Administration authorized a virtual reality system as a prescription treatment for chronic back pain, the agency announced today. The therapy, called EaseVRx, joins the short list of digital therapeutics cleared by the agency over the past few years. EaseVRx includes a VR headset and a device that amplifies the sound of the user’s breath to assist in breathing exercises. It uses principles from cognitive behavior therapy, which aims to help people recognize and understand various thought patterns and emotions. The program addresses pain through relaxation, distraction, and improved awareness of internal signals, the FDA said in its statement.