Physical therapy is recommended for patients in order to regain lost limb function and improve quality of life. It aims to reduce impairment and helps individuals regain mobility. It can also aid patients who experience other forms of brain injury or are diagnosed with conditions like multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Physical therapy uses mechanical force and movement to strengthen muscles and enables people to exercise more control over the affected areas of their bodies.
Going to frequent physical therapy sessions is too costly for the majority of patients. Many cannot afford them in addition to seeing specialists for their condition. It is just not possible. Taking this into account, a cost-effective and accessible home therapy is required. The solution lies in innovative software and devices like Microsoft's Kinect sensor.
Researchers at The Ohio State University have developed a therapeutic game called Recovery Rapids that uses Kinect to monitor patient movement. Recovery Rapids is based on constraint-induced movement therapy. Constraint-induced therapy is a form of rehabilitation that improves upper extremity function in stroke and other central nervous system damage victims by increasing the use of their affected limb. It has been shown to produce improvement in patients regardless of their age or how long ago the injury occurred.
Unlike other techniques, constraint-induced discourages use of the unaffected arm and focuses on using the weakened limb intensively to complete certain tasks. While the amount of improvement produced by this method diminishes if the patient’s limb is severely affected, it is still effective in a wide variety of people and promotes recovery. Due to the fact that constraint-induced therapy is beneficial to so many people, using it to create a universal physical therapy game is the right choice.
Patients can access Recovery Rapids at any time. The cost is also very low due to the equipment involved. The patient controls a kayaker and uses their weak hand and arm to perform simple tasks. Paddling a kayak, navigating around obstacles, and collecting bottles from the river all promote strength and help with recovery. There are many other exercises as well.