Virtual Exercise improves balance

Gutiérrez RO, Galán Del Río F, Cano de la Cuerda R, Alguacil Diego IM, González RA, Page JC. A telerehabilitation program by virtual reality-video games improves balance and postural control in multiple sclerosis patients. NeuroRehabilitation. 2013 Sep. [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND:Balance and postural control (PC) disorders are frequent motor disorder symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS).
OBJECTIVE:To demonstrate the potential improvements in balance and PC among patients with MS who complete a virtual reality telerehabilitation program that represents a feasible alternative to physical therapy for situations in which conventional treatment is not available.
METHODS: 50 patients was recruited. Control group (n = 25) received physiotherapy treatment twice a week (40 min per session). Experimental group (n = 25) received telerehabilitation treatment using the Xbox 360® console monitored via videoconference. Experimental group attended 40 sessions, four sessions per week (20 min per session). The treatment schedule lasted 10 weeks for both groups. A computerised dynamic posturography and clinical outcomes were used at baseline and at the end of the treatment.
Results showed an improvement over general balance in both groups. Visual preference, the contribution of vestibular information(from the ear where balance is controlled), mean response time and Tinetti test yielded significant differences in the experimental group. An ANOVA revealed significant between-group post-treatment differences 
CONCLUSION:We suggest that our virtual reality program enables anticipatory PC and response mechanisms and might serve as a successful therapeutic alternative in situations in which conventional therapy is not readily available.

As ProfG has maintained we need to embrace technology in todays medicine , this study uses a physiotherapy session via xbox. Having wasted a morning travelling to the physio, a virtual session sounds appealing

The Tinetti balance test

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  • Well is there a conflict of interest here?! What about the RSI, the reduced social skills and the cognitive impairment caused by addiction to computer games? Easily done. Before you post negative postings, I'm joking. Just going to my rehab class to get some new exercises.

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