Active Video Gaming Used to Improve Hand Speed and Range of Finger Motion
Video games are no longer just a leisure-time activity…they could become an integral part of your rehab program. Numerous studies examining the rehabilitative benefits of active video games (AVGs) have found increases in motor control, balance, energy expenditure, and extremity function in people experiencing a wide range of conditions including brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, stroke, spinal-cord dysfunction and frailty. In a small pilot study in teens with cerebral palsy, engineers at Rutgers University combined a Sony PlayStation 3 console with the 5DT Ultra sensing commercial gaming glove to create a system aimed at improving hand speed and range of finger motion. Results showed significant progress in hand function (as assessed by an Occupational Therapist) as a result of playing custom-made games for 30 minutes a day five days a week. Not only was the system convenient and enjoyable for the teens, after 3 months participants showed progress in the ability to lift large, heavy objects and improvements in activities such as brushing teeth, shampooing, dressing, and using a spoon.
Huber M, Rabin B, Docan C, Burdea G, AbdelBaky M, Golomb M. Feasibility of Modified Remotely Monitored In-Home Gaming Technology for Improving Hand Function in Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy. IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine. 2010;14(2):526-534.