Believe or not video games have been having an impact in sports rehabilitation since early part of 2008. Going back a few years many people tend to think of video games as having a violent impact on the players especially teenagers.
The other side of video games is that they have the potential to bring out flexibility and motion in a participant.
This was quite evident when Nintendo Wii gaming system came out in 2007 with video gaming for such sports golf, tennis, baseball and basketball. Although originally made strictly for entertainment video gaming definitely has a place in sports rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy.
The first positive impact that video games have is by design they are fun to play. Having a patient play the sport video games will make the repetitive motions and actions much more enjoyable and motivating for the patient. It gives the sports rehabilitation specialist the opportunity to pick a specific sports video game and take advantage of motions that is needed to recover from their injuries.
Once the patient gets involved in the video sport game it is easier to encourage motions that maybe be painful for the patient in a conventional treatment. Put simply, treatment will become fun and exciting rather than boring and dreadful.
Another impact of video games is that it increases patient adherence to treatment and ultimately helps patients complete their sports rehabilitation program. Video gaming has proven that patients do exercise more effectively and makes it easier to overcome pain during treatment.
Video games have the capability for single or multi player participants thus allowing the physical therapist to assign patients with similar injuries to compete with each other. The patient can also involve family members to create support while going through the sports rehabilitation program.
It is proven that virtual therapeutic video games can improve balance, strength, endurance and speed when compared to traditional therapy treatments. If used wisely video games paly a significant role in patient recovery.
In 2014 there has been a definite increase in the use of video gaming in the rehabilitation setting as more and more sports rehabilitation specialists see the benefits in game playing!! Technology is definitely having an impact in the physical therapy arena.