Virtual Reality in Physical Therapy 101

Physical therapy
 Why VR is Bound to Revolutionize Physical Therapy
Many of us, at one point or another in our lives, have been involved in accidents that end up causing extensive physical damage, rendering the normal functioning of the body hard or nigh impossible. It could’ve been a car accident, a mishap at the place of work or during a sporting event. However, there are restorative measures that can be taken to correct this mishap. This is where physical therapy comes in to save the day. Physical therapy is restorative care and treatment that is intended to relieve pain resulting from injury and help the patient recover movement and functions. Apart from the management of pain resulting from injury, physical therapy can help manage other health conditions such as chronic illnesses, recovery from birth, adaptation to artificial limbs, among other uses.Physical therapy works for people of all ages and gender. The procedure is carried out by, or under the supervision of a trained professional.Different techniques are used during therapy. Some of them include infrared radiation, laser therapy, massage, and manual resistance training. Different equipment is also incorporated into the practice in accordance with the need. They could be electrical devices, heat, ultrasound or even stimulating the patient’s body manually using body contact. Swimming, use of chairs, exercise balls and even stairs have also been successfully applied to manage injury and promote recovery.

Redefining Therapy with New Technologies

The most recent technology incorporated in physical therapy is Virtual Reality (VR). A virtual environment is created to help patients suffering from pain and injury relearn the use of their limbs in a way that is both encouraging and fun. This technique has been in use for some time now in the successful treatment of stroke victims, walking disorders as well as back pain. This has been shown to greatly improve the patient’s motor learning and coordination skills by enabling users to feel motivated when doing physical therapy.

For instance, with the VR headset, patients who are exercising their lower limbs on the treadmill are provided with an environment that appears as if they are taking a walk in a park or by the countryside. This ensures that they enjoy the activity, a factor that serves to greatly accelerate their treatment.

Another important aspect is the gamification with VR. Playing games on VR has proven to be a great way to get patients to engage in their physical therapy exercises and treatments.

All these technological advances have led to great improvements in the medical treatment and management of diseases and conditions that were previously thought to be unmanageable. And the more discoveries are made, the better and easier it will become.

In conclusion, physical therapy is a very important health restorative procedure that while used, either in isolation or together with other treatment procedures, help manage many of the injuries and conditions that befall people. And, with the advancements in the VR technology, physical therapy has now become an engaging, fun and thrilling experience.

Erastus Owuor is a passionate and truly driven freelance writer that bases his work on rigorous research. His greatest quality is his self-motivation, which has enabled him to work even under aggressive deadlines.

For more articles on how VR is changing healthcare and other industries, make sure to check the VRHealth Blog.

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