Virtual reality has spread like wildfire across many mediums in the past few years. At first, many of us thought that the uses of virtual reality were going to be limited to the world of entertainment, but nowadays, virtual reality applications are growing, particularly in certain areas of the medical field.
For example, if you find yourself injured and in pain for a long period of time (more than three months) you might be suffering from a chronic condition. This is where virtual reality, in the form of virtual physical therapy, can assist you. Virtual physical therapy is excellent for people who can’t attend physical therapy or for those who enjoy privacy.
In this article, we’ll be talking about everything related to virtual physical therapy, so read on and make the pain tread lightly.
What is virtual reality?
According to many people, virtual reality is the pinnacle of technology due to the fact that it creates complete immersion. With virtual reality, we get to experience a world that doesn’t exist and feel as if we were there ourselves.
Virtual reality is accessed through a special headset that has the capability to create a stereoscopic 3D effect and with the combination of technology that tracks your inputs and movement, a believable and life-like experience unfolds right before your eyes.
If you are wondering whether you can have a VR setup in the home, then the answer is yes. It might sound as if this experience costs an arm and a leg but that can’t be farther from the truth. VR headsets, just like smartphones, come at different price ranges, and generally speaking, the majority of them are budget-friendly.
Necessary equipment and VR therapy eligibility
As mentioned previously, a VR headset is the main piece of technology required to enter virtual reality. Besides that, you are going to need a smartphone or a personal computer with internet access.
But before we dive into the world of virtual reality, we need to talk about who can safely enjoy it. It’s generally advised that people with epilepsy consult their doctors before venturing into VR as sensitivity to light and flashing images can cause seizures. However, most people over 12 can enjoy the medical benefits of VR.
Virtual physical therapy
50%–70% of patients that have been prescribed PT can’t receive it due to the barrier between injured patients and physically attending PT in a facility. With VR that’s no longer the case. Physical Therapy VR sessions fall nothing short of normal PT and even excel when it comes to certain aspects – enjoying in the comfort of your home and one-on-one sessions. Some virtual clinics will also provide a VR headset so that the financial burden of buying one is erased.
During the process of VR PT, the therapists supervise the patient and suggest proper exercises according to their diagnosis and injury. Therapists will ensure that the right muscle groups and joints are targeted and provide advice and support during the exercises. Physical therapy can sometimes become too stressful, but, with VR providing a fun and engaging spin on PT, patients can enjoy the process of healing.
Benefits of virtual physical therapy
The benefits of VR physical therapy are countless. The tasks are usually tailored to the needs of patients and feedback is provided timely. Here are some of the many benefits of virtual physical therapy:
- 1:1 Support. Your personal trainer will always look to deliver a personalized therapy experience and will always be available between sessions to discuss your progress and provide you with feedback regarding your recovery.
- Saves time. By partaking in PT from the comfort of your home, you save a lot of time that is spent on travelling to a facility. You can use that time to focus on hobbies that will help you keep your spirits up during your recovery time.
- Budget-friendly recovery. Virtual clinics’ services and the virtual therapies are covered by insurance.
- Maintaining social distancing. You don’t want to be saddled with another health burden when you are suffering from an injury. So, working on your health from home will ensure that you remain in top health.
If you are suffering from chronic pain caused by injury and you require physical therapy, virtual therapy can provide you with a fun and healing experience. Be sure to contact your doctor before deciding on this type of therapy.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertforshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.