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4 Technological Advances In Physiotherapy

Video games can be good for you?

With the advent of video game consoles that use people as the controllers, it’s obvious to see how these systems can be useful for rehabilitating injuries. There is growing literature, however, showing the benefits of video games for people with development and neurological deficiencies. For instance, children with cerebral palsy were observed to improve gross motor function with a consistent video game regimen. Another study showed that patients with Parkinson’s disease greatly benefited from a six-week course of video game play. It is interesting that gaming devices, designed to provide mindless entertainment, are actually powerful tools in improving cognitive and motor skills.

You can use virtually anything.

Virtual reality is another growing technology that’s being used in the field and has been shown to increase treatment outcomes on several levels. This technology has been used increasingly in aging populations to help in fall prevention. Virtual reality can alter the local environment to assess how a patient navigates through specific scenarios without putting the patient in harm. A specialist can increase and decrease the difficulty of the scene to monitor the patient’s balance, perception and reaction time. Training activities using this technology has been shown to increase all of these parameters in the elderly, which is helpful in fall prevention.

Lights, camera, action.

Imaging techniques are critical in monitoring a number of physiological systems, however, they are generally very costly which limits their use. Technological advances have allowed imaging techniques to become practical and affordable – all while increasing quality. Therapists are using 3D imaging to assess a person’s movements to better diagnose and treat any type of movement disorder. The patient is also able to see their movements with an outsider’s perspective, which has been shown to improve treatment outcomes.

It all makes sense.

Sensory boards are gaining popularity in many facets of physiotherapy as they are designed to stimulate and challenge different types of mental and motor functions. These boards have been used for many reasons, from treating children with sensory issues, to improving cognition and movement in adults with Alzheimer’s disease. Since sensory boards are custom programmed to each patient, it allows for one board to cater to a large population.

Final thoughts.

With a steadily growing and aging population, it’s easy to recognize the need for improved technologies to treat and prevent injuries that decrease quality of life. The advances described here are just a few that showcase how far the field of physiotherapy has come. It will be exciting to see what the future brings. 

Aug 24, 2016 Category: Articles Posted by: admin

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