As any physiotherapist will know, the task of getting someone moving again can be a long road. For some, their injuries are the result of running long distances or getting injured in contact sports. For others, it can be the result of a much more traumatic accident. Massage techniques have been used for a long time to relax muscles and aid movement, and gradual movement exercises have also been used to build strength and mobility. However, we’re nearly two decades into the 21st century – so what’s new?
Virtual Reality Physical Therapy almost sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn’t. Vestibular rehab can now be achieved, in part, using VR therapy. Virtual reality allows vestibular rehabilitation therapy to have an element of play added to it – rather than just encouraging the repetition of movements. It introduces features of reality to the therapy that can even be used to treat conditions such as motion sickness. This gives therapy a sense of realism – and makes the approach into the real world seem less daunting. If this is something you would be interested in introducing to your physiotherapy practice, then Go to C2Care for more information on vestibular rehabilitation and kinesiotherapy, and how VR rehabilitation can help.
If you thought exoskeletons were the product of sci-fi fantasies, then think again. External bodysuits are now being used to help patients return to their former mobile self. This aids the process of walking by supporting patients as they walk. However, it’s not just as simple as the exoskeleton walking patients around. It is partly controlled by the physiotherapist and partly operated by the patient. This means that it makes clever use of the patient’s body weight to assist their mobility.
Advice from afar
One of the biggest conundrums for those with mobility issues is getting to the physiotherapist in the first place. If you have a small shoulder ache, there’s no real problem with walking to the physio or jumping in the car for a quick appointment. However, if you have severe leg or spinal damage, getting to your therapist might be quite difficult.
While net doctors have caused some controversy, receiving physio advice over the web has actually proved quite useful for many patients. If patients are still in the phases of undertaking gentle strength-building exercises, video chats can be a useful method of communication for advice and progress updates. This approach encourages patients to continue with their exercises without the fear of getting into a vehicle or the frustration of having to book transport to make their appointment.
Nowadays, physiotherapy has so many options to choose from, whether it’s virtual physical therapy, a motorized outer shell or advice via video chat. This has not only seen advancements in aiding patient’s progress, but also in its accessibility. Patients can gradually enter the real world with caution and smooth progress after an injury or condition, without feeling as if they have been completely thrown in the deep end.