A clinical trial has found that playing augmented reality (AR) games can help improve range of motion (ROM) and muscle strength in children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy (SHCP). SHCP is a neurological condition that affects muscle control on one side of the body, often causing stiffness and limited movement. While traditional physical therapy can be helpful, it can be difficult to motivate children to continue with their exercises. The use of AR games in therapy can make it more engaging and fun, encouraging children to continue with their exercises.
The clinical trial included 30 children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old who were randomly divided into three groups. Each group received a different AR game: Balance It, Bubble Pop, or Scoop'd. The games were developed by WonderTree, a Pakistani company that creates interactive games for children with special needs. The children played their assigned game for eight weeks, and their ROM and muscle strength were assessed at the beginning and end of the study.
The results of the trial showed that all three groups had significant improvements in ROM and muscle strength. This means that playing the AR games helped the children to move their limbs more easily and made their muscles stronger. The children in the Balance It group had the greatest improvement in elbow extension ROM, which was significantly better than the Scoop'd group. However, there was no significant difference in muscle strength between the three groups.
The research suggests that AR games can be an effective tool for improving ROM and muscle strength in children with SHCP. The games may offer a more engaging and interactive way to encourage children to do their exercises, which can lead to better outcomes in the long run. Further research is needed to determine whether other AR games or interventions could be similarly effective.
If you have a child with SHCP, it may be worth considering incorporating AR games into their physical therapy routine. Consult with a physical therapist or occupational therapist who specializes in working with children with cerebral palsy to determine which games or interventions would be most appropriate for your child's individual needs and abilities.
It is also important to remember that AR games should not replace traditional physical therapy entirely. They can be a helpful supplement to a comprehensive therapy program, but they should not be relied upon as the sole form of treatment. Regular check-ins with a therapist can help ensure that your child is making progress and receiving the appropriate level of care.
The use of AR games in physical therapy shows promise for improving Range Of Motion and muscle strength in children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy. By making therapy sessions more engaging and interactive, AR games may offer a way to encourage children to continue with their exercises and achieve better outcomes. However, more research is needed to fully explore the potential benefits of this approach, and the trial confirms it should be used in conjunction with traditional therapy methods. It is important to work with a physical therapist or occupational therapist to determine which games or interventions are most appropriate for your child's needs.