A study recently published in the journal Stroke found challenging balance with virtual reality games could help patients recover faster after suffering a stroke.
Researchers split 59 participants who'd recently had a stroke into two groups, and all individuals took part in a series of 10 to 12 virtual reality gaming session for 20 minutes over three weeks with the help of therapists. One faction stood while playing and the other sat, and both groups played soccer goaltending and snowboarding games.
Both groups saw improvements in mobility, but participants who were standing had better results. People who sat while playing added 70 feet to how far they could walk in two minutes while the standing individuals added an average 111 feet. The standing players also reduced their time on a standard mobility test requiring them to get out of a chair, walk to a line of the floor and go back to their chair.
"We showed that people do improve," senior author Dr. Hillel Finestone, director of the stroke rehabilitation research at Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital in Ottawa, told Reuters. "We saw improvements in balance. It's not the be-all, end-all, but we see a good potential."
Senior care services can provide assistance to patients recovering from a stroke while they recuperate at home.