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How VR Technology Revolutionizes Physical Therapy

Guy does physical therapy using VR headset

Eren Li from Pexels

Most people have probably at some point in their lives needed to undergo physical therapy after suffering an injury or have supported their loved ones through such an experience. Physical therapy is meant to help people recover and improve their injuries with the help of therapeutic exercises which mainly focus on reducing pain, improving body posture, enhancing coordination, and building strength.

There are 118,048 physical therapists businesses operating in the US as of 2021, which is an increase of 2.8% compared to 2020.

These numbers reflect the increasing need for physical therapy services so that people can regain their strength and control of their bodies. Unfortunately, since physical therapy is a time-consuming process and requires patience from the person undergoing the treatment, many patients fail to follow doctors’ recommendations to complete the physical therapy until the end and most stop going as they find it monotonous.

This is where VR technology comes into the picture as it serves as a great motivational tool for such patients. Instead of them dreading physical therapy treatment, it can create a whole new perspective and immerse patients in a holographic environment.

In this article, we look at how VR technology revolutionizes physical therapy.  

Remote Treatment

VR tools have helped therapists tremendously in being able to watch their patients’ quality movement and track their progress. The patient can sit in the comfort of their home and get direct treatment under the supervision of a professional physical therapist in real-time and get encouraged to do better and receive instant feedback.

If you’re looking for precise and personalized physical therapy treatment, visit XR.health, a virtual clinic that provides engaging treatments without having to leave your home. Licensed therapists will work with you remotely, optimize your treatment in real-time, and help you with everything from chronic pain management, acute pain, post-operative rehab, to spinal pain management.

In addition, the treatment process becomes a lot easier to manage from remote locations with efficient appointment scheduling, regular checkups, the VR headset, and various tele physiotherapy apps.

VR Games

This can be described as one of the most amusing forms of VR physical therapy treatment where patients can play games that involve physical exercises by using virtual reality. A gamified experience is created for the patient and as with any other normal gaming platform, these exercises are performed at various levels.

The patient undergoes a set of exercises that represents a level and just like in a video game, they’re notified when they complete it so they can get ready for more challenging next-level exercises. A great benefit is that therapists can adapt the training routine for each patient based on their progress, something that frequently causes resistance in traditional therapy sessions when patients feel they’re not ready for a difficult task.

Instead, VR games create a sense of enthusiasm among patients and make them ready to tackle a new challenge once they step into the next level.

 Guy plays video games using VR headset

Therapists Use VR as an Information Source

The VR therapy apps are great as they collect a patient’s information (according to federal HIPAA rules) to make it possible for doctors and physical therapists to use it in their research and different analyses. Such data assist in generating thorough analytical reports on the impact of the various treatments and exercises and how they work for different age groups and the time required based on the generated recovery curve.

This information helps therapists in creating and implementing personalized and better treatment plans and makes patients recover faster. They can get a better understanding of the risks associated with a certain age group or patients’ pre-existing health conditions and ensure that each patient will be recommended with a set of various exercises that they can perform safely.

Improving Patients’ Overall Therapy Experience

Anyone who has undergone physical therapy treatment has most likely felt that the experience was frustrating, tiring, and probably boring. Therapy means countless hours of repeating the same moves and exercises while seeing very slow progress. It requires great willpower, patience, and persistence. VR technology can make the entire experience more fun with a plethora of games and add some excitement to monotone treatments.

VR tools help physical experts lift their patients’ spirits and speed up their recovery. What is even more amazing about VR in physical therapy is that it leaves patients wanting to explore more and they’re more willing to stick to their physical therapy schedule.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who has experienced a severe injury, undergone surgery, or felt excruciating pain, understands how important and beneficial physical therapy is. With the VR technology advancements, physical therapy has now turned into a fun and engaging experience.

It has revolutionized physical therapy and allowed experts to create enhanced medical services to make patients’ experiences easier and better.