It’s important to find balance between work and play, and video game therapy for stroke recovery can bring a fun, new dynamic to your rehabilitation regimen.
Video Game Therapy and Brain Plasticity
According to Heidi Moawad, MD, video games that require specific thinking or muscle skills can help stimulate new connections between different parts of the brain. This phenomenon is known as brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity, and it allows your brain to adapt and recover after stroke.
Video games are useful during stroke recovery if they are productive, meaning that they require creative thinking, problem solving, or movement. Want to make it even more effective? Choose something that allows you to gradually increase difficulty levels so that you can constantly work on improving your skills.
What Games to Play
So we know that in order for video game therapy to be effective, it needs to:
- Involve creative thinking, problem solving, or muscle movement
- Have different difficulty levels
- Have goals and feedback
- Not be boring
With those requirements in mind, here are some of our suggestions:
- Brain teasers like Brain Age, a Wii game full of brain boosting activities that you can do by yourself or with friends
- MusicGlove, a musical game to help improve fine motor skills
- Wii Bowling, Boxing, or Baseball for a focus on hand-eye coordination and arm movement
- Dance Dance Revolution for some very active, goal-oriented leg exercise
Start with something you’re comfortable with and move up from there. Everyone’s recovery process is unique and you should try different types of therapy until you find one that’s right for you.
Do you play video games as part of your stroke rehabilitation regimen? Leave a comment below and share your favorite game with our community!