Wii golf can help patients in physical therapy

Physical therapists are helping patients recover balance and movement through the use of Wii golfing, reports The New York Times.

According to Dean Beasley, director of inpatient rehabilitation at Doctors Hospital in Augsta, Ga., the Wii Sports game acts as a helpful supplement to traditional physical therapy. "It allows the patient to put into practical application what they've done in therapy and, in some cases, it helps them know if they could still play golf," said Beasley.

Gaming therapy has proven effective with patients recovering from strokes or having difficulties with motor skills, double vision, and range of motion. Regular therapy could address these problems as well, says Dr. Arlene McCarthy, the director of neurological physical therapy residency program at Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, Calif., but Wii Sports makes the experience more enjoyable.

"The difference is by using the Wii, it's more fun for the patient," said McCarthy. "I believe therapy should be fun and meaningful for the individual, and if they are having a good time while getting better, it's another tool in our toolbox that we can use."

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