Can Video Games Help With Back Pain?
Researchers at the University of Sydney studied 60 randomized participants, aged 55 years or older, who suffer from lower back pain. The participants were instructed to use the Wii Fit U exercises or to continue their usual activities for 8 weeks. The participants used the home-based Wii Fit U flexibility, strengthening, and aerobic exercises, for 60 minutes, 3 times per week and were monitored via telephone calls from a physical therapist.
The study measured pain self-efficacy and care seeking (primary outcomes), and physical activity, pain, function, disability, fear of movement/re-injury, falls-efficacy, recruitment and response rates, adherence, experience with the intervention, and adverse events (secondary outcomes).
The results of the study, published in Physical Therapy, found that the study participants who completed the Wii Fit U exercises had significantly higher pain self-efficacy at 6 months, but not immediately post-intervention or at 3 months; there were no between-group differences in care-seeking. Compared with the control group, participants completing Wii Fit U exercises demonstrated significantly greater improvements in pain and function at 8 weeks and were more likely to engage in flexibility exercises at 6 months.
The study is available at Oxford Academic Physical Therapy.
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