Retraining Peripheral Neuropathy with Interactive Video Games
Updated: May 23, 2019
Now THIS! Training with video games improves movement with Peripheral Neuropathy (PN).
Geeking out as I like to do each week, I am reading this study on the NIH website.(1) It is said that people who trained 3 times a week for 6 weeks whom also had diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PN) improved their balance and movement. I have only seen this happen with low tech interventions and this sounded fun.
Could the Video Game, Dance Revolution, a game my kid’s mastered (I never did) also show these results? I could sit in front of my computer and research this all day. I do know that fun is the way to go when it comes to rehabilitating movement in the body. There are many studies that show fun increases the speed of learning new movement.
Video games encourage the eyes, balance systems and the body to work together. Some people do better when their eyes are moving fast, and some people move better when their eyes are moving slow. There are many variables.
Eye hand coordination seems to be more commonly understood as important. Eye foot coordination not so much. Eye foot coordination is really important when you have neuropathy. It can mean the difference between walking well and falling a lot.
I was at an airport a few months back and helped a woman who fell on a very slight decline in the walkway. She told me she had neuropathy in her feet. I watched her eyes as I tried to help her. I knew immediately what increased her risk for the fall in addition to having the neuropathy. She struggled with eye foot coordination. She did get up after about 20 minutes of navigating and trying different approaches. Thank goodness only her pride seemed injured. She was very embarrassed to have fallen and unable to get up on her own.
Learning to move better even with neuropathy challenges, is the key to staying active and healthy. The evidence in the literature is clear.
Be your own advocate! If PN is something that limits the rate, speed, and agility of your movement, learn more about movement. Ask your movement experts to help you. Learn how your eyes, as well as your feet work together. Your balance system will improve as a result because they are all connected.
You can move better and decrease pain with the right plan for your body.
Wishing You Luck and Good Movement!