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Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 11:05 GMT
Games therapy for burns victims
Nintendo Wii
Now physiotherapists are apparently joining the queue
The Nintendo Wii games console is being used as part of physiotherapy treatment for patients in South-East England.

Burns victims and those with hand injuries are being offered spells on the console to boost their recovery.

Playing on a Wii demands a user act out all the physical movements involved in sports such as tennis, golf and boxing.

Specialists say using the Wii brings back flexibility to damaged areas and that most importantly - patients actually enjoy their treatment.

"When recovering from an operation, such as a skin graft, patients may need recover normal use of their hands and arms," said Maureen Adams, head of therapy at Queen Victoria NHS Foundation Trust in East Grinstead.

"Using the Wii is a way of significantly improving movement, while not seeing the activity as therapy, which helps motivate them. Wii can also be done at home, so patients are able to continue their own personal therapies."

On your toes

The Wii has already been used in Manchester for the rehabilitation of a boy who suffered burns after being struck by lightning.

Physiotherapy is a vital part of recovery from burns injuries, and if we can make that easier on the patients then it can only be a good thing
Baljit Dheansa
Burns consultant

Its healing properties have also been touted for stroke victims: in the US and Germany, it has been used in several clinics to help patients regain movement in their arms and legs.

Most recently, it has made an appearance in a Welsh care home as a way of keeping residents physically and mentally active.

The East Grinstead hospital, which treats burns victims from across the South-East, said the Wii was only one element of the treatment on offer, and complemented rather than replaced conventional methods.

Baljit Dheansa, specialist burns consultant at the unit, said: "Physiotherapy is a vital part of recovery from burns injuries, and if we can make that easier on the patients then it can only be a good thing."

The consoles, which were at one point in short supply, were donated to the hospital.

SEE ALSO
Wii boost for care home residents
30 Jan 08 |  South West Wales
Wii consoles used in 'virtual PE'
28 Jan 08 |  Hereford/Worcs
'Wii warm-up' good for surgeons
17 Jan 08 |  Health

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