Using VR to improve balance disorders

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Balance disorders have a significant impact on the quality of life of people who suffer from them. Vestibular disorders, vertigo, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis can limit activities of daily living and increase the risk of falling. However, virtual reality can alleviate this problem by reducing the difficulties encountered. In this article, we will discover the advantages of virtual reality in the treatment of balance disorders, and we will discuss the perspectives of virtual reality in the treatment of these disorders.

How virtual reality can help in the treatment of balance disorders

Virtual reality offers numerous perspectives in the treatment of balance disorders. The patients concerned are most often the elderly, suffering from neurological diseases, vertigo, vestibular disorders and musculoskeletal disorders.

Through the creation ofvirtual environments, patients practice using the simulations set up to generate imbalances, allowing them to adapt and improve their stability. Motion sensors embedded in virtual reality headsets provide therapists with various information, such as movement accuracy and execution speed. This data allows healthcare professionals to monitor the progress of their patients and adjust the sessions according to their needs. In addition, virtual reality helps patients overcome kinesiophobia and anxiety by providing controlled and personalized virtual environments. This allows patients to increase their self-confidence, thus reducing their fear of falling or losing their balance. 

It is important to emphasize that virtual reality does not replace traditional treatments for balance disorders, but complements conventional rehabilitation sessions. We find in the literature scientific articles that prove the effectiveness of VR in the rehabilitation sector. According to Hao Feng et al, the use of virtual reality is beneficial forimproving balance in patients with Parkinson's disease: "VR training resulted in significantly better performance compared to the conventional physical therapy group [...] 12 weeks of VR rehabilitation resulted in greater improvement in balance and gait in people with Parkinson's disease compared to conventional physical therapy." To learn more, you can check out our page on virtual reality studies and scientific research right here.

What is the future of virtual reality in the treatment of balance disorders?

The future prospects of virtual reality in the treatment of balance disorders offer promising possibilities: ongoing research and technological developments are constantly evolving in the field of rehabilitation. Motion sensors will become smaller, more precise and offer even richer data.

In addition, virtual environments could be even more realistic and captivating. Patients will be able to feel completely immersed in stimulating worlds adapted to their needs (here, for the treatment of balance disorders), such as walking on unstable surfaces, crossing virtual bridges or even exploring various virtual landscapes, for example. These immersive environments promote greater engagement and force the patient to focus more, which amplifies the work of rehabilitation. Technological advances combined with a better understanding of patient needs promise to

"Stand-alone" VR also represents a promising advance, with devices becoming increasingly portable and accessible. Patients benefit from rehabilitation sessions at home or on the go, facilitating movement and increasing the flexibility of rehabilitation programs. At H'ability, our ultra-portable headset can be used anywhere, accompanied by the healthcare professional!

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