Wii-habing to recovery | SummitDaily.com

Wii-habing to recovery


The Wii phenomenon has extended to the world of physical therapy. Howard Head Sports Medicine Centers recently began incorporating the Wii into the rehabilitation programs for a number of patients in their Silverthorne clinic. Under the close supervision of a licensed physical therapist, patients are quickly progressing in their rehabilitation using this new, entertaining method of treatment.”The Wii has introduced me to yoga and has given me the confidence to try it on my own,” said MaryKay Kelly, a spine patient at the HHSMC Silverthorne clinic.A number of the program’s games require participants to move in ways that complement traditional therapeutic exercises. The Wii has been shown to improve balance, coordination, endurance, and strength. Recent studies have shown that the use of the Wii helps improve patients’ functional mobility and posture, distributing their weight and measuring their sway. Clinic Manager Ami Doyle, PT, says “The Wii is a fun and interactive way to measure patient’s progress. The ability to give patients immediate feedback on their balance has been a great benefit to their progress. It is an objective measurement of their balance and coordination and an exciting tool to use in the clinic. Patients want to follow through with their home physical therapy in order to progress with Wii exercises. The game challenges their ability to return to sport and daily activities in a safe environment. To give a patient following ACL reconstruction the opportunity to ‘ski’ with the Wii three weeks into their recovery is a huge mental boost to their rehabilitation. It appeals to those who have a competitive drive.” Furthermore, switching their focus from their pain to winning the game has proven to serve an important mental purpose, just as much as the physical benefits. “I enjoyed the Wii so much that I bought one for home to continue my physical therapy,” stated Dennis Taratus, a knee patient who was treated by physical therapist Terri Stashick in the Silverthorne clinic. “When used appropriately, the Wii provides a great adjunct to traditional physical therapy,” says HHSMC Director Steve Stalzer. According to Stalzer, HHMSC will be adding Wii units at all 12 clinics by the end of 2009. A service of the Vail Valley Medical Center, Howard Head Sports Medicine Centers has 12 clinics in Colorado. Our therapists are dedicated to providing evidence-based, progressive treatment that lead to quick and successful outcomes for their patients. Treating athletes of all levels, the therapists are constantly applying the most progressive treatments to that lead to quick and successful outcomes for their patients.

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