Therapy Facility Uses Wii Fit Technology in Treatments

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

WEYERS CAVE, Va. -- Kids at home are used to gaming, using consoles such as PlayStation 3 or Wii Sport.

Physical therapists are turning that habit into therapy.

Workers at Advantage Physical Therapy and Sports Performance said that the Wii programs help with balance and strength.

The therapists just started using this therapy the last week. A physical therapists' job is to restore function and flexibility and they said the Wii Fit is a fun way to do that.

The programs involve yoga as well as other traditional exercises. One student athlete, who tore his ACL, can already see an improvement in his leg strength.

After a ligament surgery, therapists use aerobics and yoga programs on the Wii to ease patients into treatment. Adults also use yoga on the program to help with flexibility.

Chris Witter, who has been a physical therapist for more than a decade, is impressed at how his patients respond to the Wii.

"Seeing the patients, the clients' reactions, almost always they will smile right away and you can just see them forget about their problem. They're focused, they're saying what do I need to do to compete or to do better so they start thinking about their whole body," Witter said.

Therapists at the center see about 30 to 55 patients each day. Witter said he wants to incorporate the Wii as much as they can.

Witter said it's important to use the Wii along with more traditional free motion exercises.

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