Thursday, June 5, 2008
Medical Reports: Wii Therapy
When the Nintendo Wii hit the market, game lovers couldn't wait to play, but this computer system is more than just fun, it's a hi-tech healer for patients recovering from surgery.
WSVN -- People across South Florida lined up for hours on end to get the Nintendo Wii, a video game system that took the country by storm.
Karen Schiff: "Show me a strike, give me a strike."
But it's not all fun and games for these folks. At Memorial Hospital West's Rehab Center, the Nintendo Wii is now an important tool for physical therapy patients.
Karen Schiff: "We are using it for total knee replacements, shoulder surgeries, neck sprains, back sprains."
Karen Schiff: "I am walking better now in four weeks than I did before I had my operation."
Wade Moss had knee replacement surgery. In addition to doing traditional post-surgical exercises like treadmill and leg-strengthening, therapists are using the Wii's Sports Program to help get patients back to their normal routines.
Wade Moss: "The movements people need to use on a day to day basis are what we call functional movements, and we're incorporating those functional movements with the exercise of the Wii."
Wade is working out with the bowling game, which includes bending and straightening the knee, as well as accepting weight on the healing leg.
Karen Schiff: "The body movements, the positioning, and you really have to adjust yourself so you can properly play the game and attempt to win."
Twelve-year-old Isaiah Morel is extremely competitive when it comes to pitching for his baseball team, but was sidelined with shoulder tendinitis. Now he is building up his strength and endurance playing the Nintendo Wii.
Simulating the sport also helps patients with balance problems and those who have difficulty with eye-hand coordination. And the gaming system makes it easy for the therapist to control the intensity level.
Karen Schiff: "You can change the intensity of the exercise by the difficulty level as well, so we can progress a patient in terms of how hard we want them to work or how easy we want them to work."
Wade Moss: "I got it! Get that spare."
And, most importantly for patients like Wade, it's not just exercise, it's fun!
Wade Moss: "You want to try and do better, and with that you will, cause you want to go for the strike."
The Nintendo Wii is popping up in more and more rehab centers across the country. In fact, according to a report by the Mayo Clinic, active video games like those on the Wii consol can even help battle child obesity.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Memorial Hospital West
Fitness & Rehabilitation Center
703 N. Flamingo Rd.
Pembroke Pines, FL 33028