By Beth Jennings, PT, MPT
Who knew you could use virtual reality (VR) to address your physical therapy needs?
You did. That is if you read last month’s post about PhysioVR, part of our new VR systems at FYZICAL – Forest Grove.
This month we want to introduce you to MotionVR. This is the latest piece of equipment we’ve added to the Balance Center, and we’re pretty excited to show it to you.
What is MotionVR?
Motion VR includes a balance platform with its software to test your balance or to include in your treatment. It has its own programs to train on but also includes the software from PhysioVR like Target Tracking, ReflexVR, and BowVR.
Check out this video demonstration.
What Conditions Might Benefit from MotionVR?
- Vestibular (inner ear) disorders
- Chronic pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Balance disorders, frequent falls
- Dizziness and other neurological conditions
- Motion sickness
- Upper extremity pain and weakness
- Lower extremity pain and weakness
- Spinal tightness, pain, and weakness
- Kinesiophobia (fear of movement)
It is up to you and your physical therapist to decide if MotionVR has a program that fits your goals.
Balance Testing on MotionVR System
Sensory Organization Test (SOT): This test measures how well we use our three sensors to detect imbalance -- vision, vestibular system (inner ears), and somatosensory system (primarily the sensors in our feet and legs). Your PT utilizes the six testing conditions to determine if any of the three sensors are not pulling their weight.
Limits of Stability: The patient is asked to shift their weight in multiple directions to test their control and balance. You don’t like to shift your weight onto your left leg since surgery or a stroke? The PT will note that and measure it.
Adaptation Test: This test measures the motor output, or how well your body responds once an imbalance is detected. The patient is asked to maintain their balance while the platform makes small movements.
All this means your PT will know more about the sources of your balance difficulties so that your treatment can be more focused.
Want to Know More About The Platform?
MotionVR system has force plates in the platform, like very advanced bathroom scales, that provide information about balance, sway, and weight distribution while standing.
The motion simulator in MotionVR is the more brilliant and sophisticated older brother to the squishy foam pads you stand on during physical therapy.
The platform can tip forward, backward, or to the sides for testing or while skiing down the mountain in a virtual reality simulation (SkiVR).
Who Knew Therapy Could Be So Much Fun?
These treatment programs are more than just fun and games. They were designed by a physical therapist to use specifically for conditions
seen in physical therapy. Your FYZICAL PT will customize a session just for you and could include:
SkiVR – Shift your weight left and right to ski between th e gates on this program.
BirdVR – Another weight shifting activity, guide the eagle through a hoop.
Limits of Stability Rehab – Shift your weight left, right, forward, and back to guide the bee to the flowers.
Oh, But That Sounds Too Difficult
It may not be. The platform can remain stable while you work. We can add small movements to it when you’re ready. And if necessary, you can use the overhead harness to feel safe while you challenge yourself.
That’s the beauty of the MotionVR system. We can customize a program for someone unsteady on their feet to an elite soccer player.
I could talk all day about the capabilities of this unit, but we want you to know FYZICAL—Forest Grove has you covered no matter where you are on this continuum.
Stay tuned for future posts about how virtual reality and these new technologies can help you with your condition.
Do you know someone who would love to learn about the latest technology coming to healthcare settings? Share this post through one of the links at the top of the page.
Beth Jennings, PT, MPT is a freelance writer and a physical therapist.
Disclaimer This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Felipe, L. and Hunnicutt, S., 2020. Virtual Reality as a Vestibular Rehabilitation tool for Athletes after Concussion: A literature review. Advances in Rehabilitation, 34(2), pp.42-48.
Saldana, D., Neureither, M., Schmiesing, A., Jahng, E., Kysh, L., Roll, S.C. and Liew, S.L., 2020. Applications of head-mounted displays for virtual reality in adult physical rehabilitation: a scoping review. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(5), pp.7405205060p1-7405205060p15.