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  1. #1

    PT with Wii

    http://www.livescience.com/health/08...i-therapy.html



    CHICAGO (AP) -- Some call it "Wiihabilitation.''Nintendo's Wii video game system, whose popularity already extends beyond theteen gaming set, is fast becoming a craze in rehab therapy for patientsrecovering from strokes, broken bones, surgery and even combat injuries.
    The usual stretching and lifting exercises that help thesick or injured regain strength can be painful, repetitive and downrightboring.
    In fact, many patients say PT -- physical therapy'snickname -- really stands for "pain and torture,'' said James Osborn, whooversees rehabilitation services at Herrin Hospital in southern Illinois.
    Using the game console's unique, motion-sensitivecontroller, Wii games require body movements similar to traditional therapyexercises. But patients become so engrossed mentally they're almost obliviousto the rigor, Osborn said.
    "In the Wii system, because it's kind of a gameformat, it does create this kind of inner competitiveness. Even though you maybe boxing or playing tennis against some figure on the screen, it's amazing howmany of our patients want to beat their opponent,'' said Osborn of SouthernIllinois Healthcare, which includes the hospital in Herrin. The hospital, about100 miles southeast of St. Louis, bought a Wii system for rehab patients latelast year.
    "When people can refocus their attention from thetediousness of the physical task, oftentimes they do much better,'' Osbornsaid.
    Nintendo Co. doesn't market Wii's potential use inphysical therapy, but company representative Anka Dolecki said, "We are happyto see that people are finding added benefit in rehabilitation.''
    The most popular Wii games in rehab involve sports --baseball, bowling, boxing, golf and tennis. Using the same arm swings requiredby those sports, players wave a wireless controller that directs the actions ofanimated athletes on the screen.
    The Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital west of Chicagorecently bought a Wii system for its spinal cord injury unit.

    Pfc. Matthew Turpen, 22, paralyzed from the chest down ina car accident last year while stationed in Germany, plays Wii golf and bowlingfrom his wheelchair at Hines. The Des Moines, Iowa, native says the games helpbeat the monotony of rehab and seem to be doing his body good, too.
    "A lot of guys don't have full finger function so itdefinitely helps being able to work on using your fingers more and figuring outdifferent ways to use your hands'' and arms, Turpen said.
    At Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the therapy iswell-suited to patients injured during combat in Iraq, who tend to be in the 19to 25 age range -- a group that's "very into'' playing video games, saidLt. Col. Stephanie Daugherty, Walter Reed's chief of occupational therapy.
    "They think it's for entertainment, but we know it'sfor therapy,'' she said.
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  2. #2
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    My mom is an activities director at a long-term rehab facility in Wisconsin, and she uses Wii there too. She says she cannot believe the difference in the people she works with when they are playing the game. They focus on having fun and focus less on what is wrong with them. I wish they had this kind of therapy when I was first diagnosed!
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    A friend of mine has been gently pushing me to go Wii for the exercise. I workout, but it can get kind of boring in the winter as activity moves indoors. I'm told that if I can get the controller attached to my hand I'll be able to move my arm, get exercise and have fun.

    I hope I'll be able to play tennis in my apartment. Whoddathunkit, eh?

  4. #4
    I´m getting it for my practice and will put it through the motions.

    Wheelie would you mind asking your Mom which games her participants get the most feedback from? Thanks.
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  5. #5

    Wii PT

    We have incorporated the Wii into my son's PT program. Part of his PT is to practice standing. We've added the Wii to that because it takes his mind off standing and often encourages him to stand longer. We have found that some games work better than others -- bowling is good -- he really enjoys it and his goal is to stand and play for 15 minutes without a break. Right now he can do about 7 minutes. But he has great fun in the process.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C
    Wheelie would you mind asking your Mom which games her participants get the most feedback from? Thanks.
    She said the sports package mostly...bowling, boxing, and tennis seem to be the favorites of the ones she is working with and also seems to be paying the most dividends. Some of the older crowd loves the golfing one (makes them feel like they are on the course), so she can convince them to play that and get some range of motion going there.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  7. #7
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    my son got a wii for christmas and i thought it was going to be just another video game system. he has some motor skill deficiencies and even though he played xbox and playstation, he didnt do very well with the games. with his wii he is doing a great job which i am guessing it is due to the movement and physical involvement in the games. the before mentioned sports game is great for him. i dont know if it would help or not, but there is a fairly inexpensive bundle (35) you can buy to go with that game that has controllers that are more like the sports equipment. for example, a tennis racket to go with the tennis game. he wants that for his birthday next month because he thinks it would be easier with those controllers. these controllers are "nerf" so i would think they would be easy to hold on to as well. you can see them here....

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=8217112

  8. #8
    Senior Member GoTWHeeLs's Avatar
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    I got one over Christmas and its awesome. The Wii sports are the easiest because its just 1 button and a WHOLE lot of swinging. I have a hard time w/most of the other games except for tiger woods golf, thats my favorite.
    Say what you mean and mean what you say because those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind.

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  10. #10
    We have a wii here at SCI-Step and have seen a great results with both upper body and cardio endurance-everyone loves to box!

    Michele
    www.sci-step.com

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