Virtual reality games can improve amputation patient rehab

Virtual reality games - Person playing basketball

The technology helps to make the rehabilitation exercises more fun for patients.

Rehabilitation centers in certain hospitals and clinics have started using virtual reality games to help amputation patients to enjoy their rehabilitation.

The VR experience lets the patients play sports such s soccer, snowboarding and parachuting.

The patients using the virtual reality games as a part of their amputation rehabilitation programs follow a program that lasts several weeks. The patients will typically return to the hospital or clinic on a daily basis for around six weeks for their therapy. This involves seeing physiotherapists, physiotherapy assistance, counselling services, occupational therapists, occupational therapist assistants among other potential benefits or therapies.

Throughout their therapy, the patients also take part in VR activities. These are designed to assist them in improving their skills such as range of motion, mobility, balance and others. To use the technology, patients stand in front of a wall with a green screen on it. A camera projects their forms onto a large screen that displays one of the VR experiences. The patients are immersed into a digital experience and are immersed within it.
Virtual reality games - person using VR headset

The virtual reality games help to make the rehabilitation exercises more fun for the patients.

The therapies to build range of motion, mobility and balance can be very challenging and, in their traditional forms, can be boring. However, when they are translated through a VR experience, they become gamified and are therefore notably more fun. This makes it far more enjoyable for the patient throughout the rehabilitation. 

So far, the fun and highly interactive experiences are in a limited number of hospitals and clinics. That said, they are being trialed at a growing number of facilities that are then adopting and growing their use due to the effectiveness as a therapy and the fact that they are enjoyable for the patients.

The virtual reality games can be played alone or as a part of a group experience, which makes it possible to provide physical therapy for multiple patients at a time. Moreover, this can be helpful for the patients in connecting with other people who are going through similar challenges to their own experiences.

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