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Lake Hospital System Offers Wii-habilitation
Date:6/5/2008

Popular Gaming System Used To Help Patients Recover

From Stroke, Surgery And Broken Bones

PAINESVILLE, Ohio, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Physical and occupational therapists at Lake Hospital System are tapping into the latest video gaming craze to get patients back on their feet. They're using the Nintendo Wii and the just released Wii Fit to help patients recovering from strokes, surgeries and broken bones improve their cardiovascular fitness, aerobic strength and balance through video games like hula hooping, skiing and bowling.

"The Wii complements traditional and functional therapies while engaging patients in their therapy in a fun and entertaining way," said Nancy Ditzel, a physical therapist at Lake Hospital System. "Rehabilitation can be hard, and it's often painful. Wii takes the focus off that. Patients are having so much fun that they often don't realize how hard they're working."

Wii-habilitation is used to move the body in ways similar to traditional therapy exercises. The Nintendo Wii uses a wireless controller that allows players to control their on-screen actions through their real-life movements. Wii Fit is built around Nintendo's new Balance Board, a rectangular, pressure- sensitive platform about the size of a bathroom scale, which communicates with the Wii console wirelessly. Players step onto the board, which senses their movements, balance and center of gravity. Both systems offer a wide range of games and activities that help patients work on visual and cognitive skills, problem solving, balance, coordination, and upper-and lower-body strength and endurance.

Sherry Siburt has been using Wii Fit every day as part of her physical therapy sessions at LakeEast Hospital.

"To be able to walk and feed myself again, I basically had to start from scratch," said Siburt, who lost the feeling in her entire body after two neck surgeries. "I couldn't stand by myself when I came in here. Now,
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SOURCE Lake Hospital System
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