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Motion Controlled Video Games Ease The Pain

by Rainier on Nov. 30, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

For years, countless people recognized the entertainment benefits of video games. It’s no question that once that controller hits the tips of your fingers, you are transported into a world of challenge and excitement – and that can be addicting. Well this holiday season, it’s OK to be a little transfixed.

Playing video games which encourage movement such as the Wii and now PS3 and Xbox Kinect, help pain sufferers by providing rehabilitation through movement.

“Acute pain is shown to be noticeably reduced in children and adult sufferers once engaged in video game activity,” says Charles Friedman, D.O. of Pain Relief Centers in Pinellas Park. “These video games do certainly play a role in relieving some pain through both distraction and movement,” says Friedman.

These gaming systems help in pain relief by creating an interactive, motion-centered environment. Just getting-up and moving around can help a person feel better, and the new gaming consoles promote movement through game interaction. Another option, the Wii Fit, encourages exercise while also distracting the senses, a combination of two pain relieving factors. “Studies are now showing that movement-based therapies such as yoga, tai chi, qigong and other mainstream forms of exercise are effective treatments for chronic pain, said Friedman, “These exercises increase core strength and balance, taking away stiffness in joints or relieving other pain.”

With a variety of games available for each console, there is a game choice to appeal to almost anyone in the family.  Not only can these games assist in pain alleviation, but they are an exciting, fun way to get the family together and moving!

For those gaming-impaired?

“Even if you’ve never played video games, engaging in any sort of active gaming will reduce your pain level and even increase pain tolerance,” says Friedman. Just like a Wii Fit™ may get the kids moving or help you shed a couple pounds, a little gaming can prove beneficial to relieve pain.

“With the holidays around the corner, it might just be a great gift to invest in if you or a family member suffers from chronic pain,” suggests Friedman.

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