Wii Aids in Physical Therapy at Martha Jefferson

By: Sara Ross Email
By: Sara Ross Email

May 10, 2010

The road to recovery is often a balancing act between mind and body, and that is exactly how the Nintendo Wii helps physical therapy patients at the Outpatient Care Center at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville.

What looks like simple fun and games to most people is actually a tool to help recovering patients improve their balance.

"I've actually had a couple people who have heard that we use the Wii, and they come in no matter what their diagnosis is. They say 'oh, can we do that Wii thing? I heard you use the Wii.' And when we get people on it, some people really look forward to doing it," said Physical Therapist, Susan Heald.

Physical therapists at Martha Jefferson started using the Wii about one year ago, and they say it's not younger people asking to use the gaming system, but rather senior citizens.

"It's a different way of doing [therapy]. It's a way of making it a game or more fun, and that's helpful for both the patient and for me. I stay interested in what we're doing and it's just something different to do," said Heald.

Who knew that fun and games on the Wii could be so healthy?

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