Image credit: Cedars-Sinai
“The human body has been designed to resist an infinite number of changes and attacks brought about by its environment. The secret of good health lies in successful adjustment to changing stresses on the body.” – Harry J. Johnson
Article Authors: Gordon Slater| Tandose Sambo
Orthopaedic rehabilitation is usually recommended as part of the recovery plan of orthopaedic patients who may have had surgery or any other medical event that impacted their mobility. As a rehabilitative process, orthopaedic therapy aims to repair and restore mobility, as well as alleviate or eliminate any pain induced by the orthopaedic condition of focus.
When an orthopaedic condition develops, there can be damage to various parts of the musculoskeletal system. These can include muscles, cartilage, bones, tendons and ligaments. Some orthopaedic conditions that require rehabilitation include:
- ACL and meniscus tears
- Hip, knee, or shoulder replacement
How does VR induced Orthopaedic Rehabilitation help your recovery?
Virtual Reality(VR) is an immersive technology that enables you to visually immerse yourself into alternate realities. During orthopaedic care, it is now possible to include VR technology as part of your rehabilitation program in order to optimise and accelerate your recovery. Via specially trained therapists, a treatment plan can be created that will enable you to improve your body’s functions.
During physical therapy, you will be given an exercise program that will aim to improve your body’s range of motion and improve your endurance with time. The exercise regime is often prescribed for home use, but some patients actually lack the motivation to accomplish their goals by themselves. For this reason, there are often ways to encourage patients to perform orthopaedic exercises in a manner that makes them more fun.
As the world becomes increasingly more connected, there are various online platforms that individuals can use in order to access exercises for their conditions. Virtual reality is an addition that helps to increase the enjoyment of physical therapy exercises. Via a program called VR rehab therapy, the fusion of technology and entertainment is one that makes physical therapy a much more enjoyable process. Exercising will feel more like a gaming experience, than a chore, and you will also be in an environment where you are comfortable and safe.
VR rehab therapy is now inspiring more orthopaedic patients to do their physical therapy exercises in the comfort of their homes. Since VR is an immersive technology patients can adjust their difficulty levels, and gamify their entire healing experience. As you gain control over what you are doing, it is possible to improve your orthopaedic health in a manner that you actually enjoy.
Advantages of VR rehabilitation
Computer technology has lots of great benefits that orthopaedic patients can take advantage of. VR rehabilitation therapy has advantages in:
Educating patients: During recovery, patients can be taught more about how to manage their own bodies and their healing.
Adaptability: VR rehab therapies are flexible, and they can be adjusted according to the patients needs. If the patient needs more strength training for example, the program can be adjusted in order to include those targeted exercises.
Data Storage: One of the advantages of computer technologies is that it can be connected to data collecting devices that can track critical health parameters. Critical to your doctors will be the tracking of your heart rate, blood pressure, activity levels via steps taken and any other parameter that will enable your vital signs to be noted. Any changes can be sent to the doctor’s office for a consultation.
Motivation: VR is designed to be fun and interactive. Medical treatment, for most people, is not seen as an activity that is enjoyable. Because VR rehabilitation can mimic various settings, it can induce relaxation and provide motivation for patients as they are healing. Patients can practise improving their motor skills for instance, in a manner that will be fun for them, and they will not be overwhelmed. Virtual reality rehabilitation methods track performance and are able to identify improvement points in the patient’s treatment plan. VR therapy is more effective than traditional physiotherapy methods.
As the world population generally ages, the global orthopaedics market for orthopaedic treatments is expected to increase by 2027. VR rehabilitation therapy is proving to be an effective method that can improve patient recovery times, motivation and mobility.