Exercises on the game console can help against rheumatoid arthritis
Can training on a game console help rheumatism patients? Scientists from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have investigated this question in a current study. The result was very positive. In particular, "the motivating aspect of a game console plays a central role, regardless of patient age and length of illness," according to the current Charité message.
In their study, the researchers investigated “whether an animated home exercise program using a game console is feasible and worthwhile for regular, targeted training in rheumatic diseases.” The exercises to promote exercise were well suited to patients who otherwise did not receive physiotherapy treatment, they report Scientist. They published their results in the specialist magazine "BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders".
Maintain joint function for as long as possible
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of chronic inflammatory joint disease. In the long term, the joints suffer considerable damage from the disease, which is accompanied by increasing restrictions on movement. "Physiotherapy and physical exercise are of central importance for rheumatism patients so that the functions of the joints are preserved as long as possible," explains the Charité researchers. Many sufferers lack instructions on how to exercise and / or access to exercise therapy.
Game console training with positive effects
Here, exercise programs with the help of a game console can actually be an alternative, supportive option for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the scientists report. According to study author Jan Zernicke from the Clinic for Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the Charité, training on the game console has “comparable effects to conventional home-based, physiotherapeutic exercises”. In addition, with the game console training "more fun can be brought into the treatment concept, which increases the adherence to therapy and thus the effectiveness", continues Zernicke.
New training method tested on rheumatism patients
As part of the pilot study, training on the game console was tested on patients with rheumatoid arthritis for over six months. All subjects showed low disease activity under therapy with a biological basic drug, reports the Berlin Charité. First, there was a detailed introduction to independent training. 15 patients learned a conventional home-based physiotherapy exercise program and a further 15 patients took a defined animated exercise program on a game console. "After twelve weeks, the patients switched to the other treatment group for a treatment period of twelve weeks," reports the Berlin Charité.
Improvement of physiological functions
The evaluation of the results had shown that exercise programs on game consoles for home use certainly have a therapeutic effect. "Both groups show the same after the therapy period," reports Zernicke. The total muscle strength increased by about twelve percent and the walking performance increased by an average of five percent. The advantages of the flexibility in terms of time and the entertaining execution seem to compensate for the disadvantage of the non-guided and possibly not optimal movement execution, according to the Charité.
Encouraging research results
According to the researchers, the results are encouraging for patients with rheumatic diseases. Together with their physiotherapists and rheumatologists, additional treatment can be discussed with this or similar animated exercise programs. Also, physiotherapeutic care from a distance via PC and webcam is no longer a fiction. In countries like Canada, this is already practiced and could be a supplementary option for rheumatism treatment. (fp)