Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings Used Wii to Help Get Him Back in the Game

Over the summer, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. At the beginning of the interview he explains to Jimmy how he used Wii games to help rehab his knee following ACL repair surgery. Adrian explains that he started playing the Ski games offered through Fit Fit about one month after surgery. He tells Jimmy that he liked that because it helped him begin to put pressure through the knee. Adrian tells the host that Wii games helped him rebuild his muscles and helped him "get more power and strength into those muscles around the knee." Adrian declares, "It really helped a lot" The Vikings organization also posted a video about Adrian's rehab. If you watch this short segment, you can see Adrian using not only Wii Fit programs in therapy, but also other video games with exercise equipment to achieve his personal rehab goals. This determined player and the trainer explain that the games help reduce the monotony of repetitive exercise, making the process more enjoyable. Most individuals who need rehab for knee injuries or replacements may not have access to all of the expensive equipment or intense personal attention that Adrian Peterson had at his disposal, but many do have the opportunity to have some therapy. When you watch the video made by the Vikings organization you will hear and see Adrian making some good points; points that would benefit any rehab participant. 1. Adrian points out that he made personal goals that he hoped rehab would help him achieve. As a therapist, an important role is to help your client verbalize their goals. Encouraging your client to verbalize a goal helps that client imagine wellness,an important step that helps the individual push away some of the fear. 2. Adrian demonstrates full engagement in the rehab process. Keeping clients fully engaged in rehab often proves to be a real challenge in some settings. Wii activities help motivate the client and reduce the tedious nature of some rehab processes. 3) Adrian explains (in the Jimmy Fallon interview) that the Wii Ski games helped him adjust to putting weight through his repaired knee. As a therapist, I understand that this activity early in the rehab process helped him gain confidence in the joint. As the stability in the joint increased so did his confidence in his ability to use it. Wii Fit activities provide a great way for therapists to help clients gain confidence in a replaced or repaired joint, because many activities like the Ski Jump and the Tilt Table require weight bearing and or weight shifting in a relaxed, fun setting. Pull out that Wii Console and put it to use! The Wii offers many programs that enhance our tried and true exercises and add exciting activities, making therapy more enjoyable and beneficial.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wii Fit Therapy

The military community embraced virtual reality early in its development and provided much of the funding for research that helped advance the field. If you follow the above link you will read about training soldiers using virtual fighting, flying, and driving simulators. The military community has also embraced the use of Wii in rehab for returning injured veterans as well as for older vets who are deconditioned from chronic disease states. One physician at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System designed a study incorporating Wii activities. Could Wii Fit games be just the thing to improve these Vets balance and coordination? Kalpana P.Padala, MD, MS a staff physician and researcher at the Central Arkansas facility found that Wii Fit Therapy not only improved balance and coordination for these Vets, but provided them with a challenge that they enjoyed and were very willing to engage in regularly.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Balance Exercises: Will Wii Activities Help Your Therapy Population?

The LinkedIn Group: Rehabilitation Medicine, posted a discussion about balance and the post stroke population. The discussion leader is promoting her website , particularly a review which she wrote on an article written by Ruth Ann Geiger, Jeffery B Allen, Joanne O’Keefe, and Ramona R Hicks. Their article, Balance and Mobility following Stroke: Effects of Physical Therapy Interventions With and Without Biofeedback/Forceplate Training explains their project which compared outcomes between two groups of participants who had hemiplegia; group A received physical therapy for 50 minutes 2 to 3 times a week which included 15 minutes of treatment using the NeuroCom Balance Master. Group B received physical therapy for 50 minutes 2 to 3 times a week which included approaches designed to improve balance and mobility. This second group did not participate in exercises using the NeuroCom Balance Master. If you read the article, you will see that both groups showed improvement based on the "Timed Get Up and Go" measure as well as the "Berg Balance Scale." You will also read that this study did not show a significant difference between the groups. Balance improved in both groups. This study did not include a quality of life measure or an satisfaction or enjoyment measure to see which approach was more pleasing to the participants. The specific intervention variable used in the above mentioned article is probably expensive and not available to most therapists working with patients with balance issues. On the other hand, a Nintendo Wii balance board is relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain. Games on Wii Fit Plus can be used to provide visual feedback about weight shifting, center of balance and flexibility. Albeit, Wii is far less sophisticated than the Balance Master, using the Wii in therapy requires less space to set it up and less expertise to use. In some cases, the Wii Balance Board (WBB) has been used with modifications and peripherals in studies aimed at assessing improvement in balance. Effectiveness of a Wii balance board-based system (eBaViR) for balance rehabilitation: a pilot randomized clinical trial in patients with acquired brain injury, and Development of an interactive rehabilitation game using the Nintendo® WiiFit™Balance Board for people with neurological injury are two examples. Lean on Wii: Physical Rehabilitation With Virtual Reality and Wii Peripherals outlines more details about add-ons to the WBB. In some studies the Wii Fit Plus is used without changes. Examples include Wii-habilitation as balance therapy for children with acquired brain injury, Benefits of the Wii Fit as an Exercise Program for Older Adults, and Home-Based Balance Training Programme Using Wii Fit with Balance Board for Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot Study. Wii balance board activities can be used to help improve balance in many populations.