Hallamshire Physiotherapy Ltd, Sheffield’s leading specialist physiotherapy clinic, has launched a revolutionary new therapy to help people with Parkinsons manage some of their symptoms. Strolll Augmented Reality Therapy involves patients wearing a special headset linked to specialist digital therapeutic software to help improve mobility, confidence and independence.
This new therapy transforms physiotherapy and rehabilitation for people living with neurological disorders, particularly those with Parkinsons who’s symptoms can include ‘freezing’, a common condition that causes patients to suddenly stop moving and feel as though they are stuck to the ground.
Karen Hodgson, Director of Hallamshire Physiotherapy Clinic said, “For people with Parkinsons, reduced walking ability, balance and falls are often one of the most challenging symptoms. They can worsen as the disease progresses because the part of the brain that controls automatic movement (like walking) is degenerating. Strolll Augmented Reality Therapy provides people with visual or auditory stimuli that can enable a person with Parkinsons to detour that part of the brain and engage other brain areas that can control movement, but are unaffected by the disease, thus alleviating several debilitating motor symptoms.”
At a recent launch event in Sheffield, patient Avis Holmes was amazed with the technology, “Very good, I could see all my surroundings, yet enjoy the various activities being projected all around me, I was so focused on the images that it took my mind off my condition, before I often froze when turning corners, but with the headsets I don’t even think about it.”
“Patients are so focused on what they are seeing, such as lines on the floor, they don’t notice they have entered a new room and do not freeze,” says Karen Hodgson, “Patients can then take the headset home with them and practise as much as they like with the remote guidance of a physiotherapist. The more they practise these methods, the less likely they are to freeze. This isn’t a cure, but it’s a really great way to manage the symptoms.”
The tech-driven solution provides gamified exercise therapy through targeted, clinically proven augmented reality activities. It allows patients to access rehabilitation exercise at home and maintain their disease at a lower stage for longer. It has potential applications in rehabilitation of other neurological disorders, such as strokes and multiple sclerosis.
The clinic was established in 2004 with the intention of providing a centre of excellence for physiotherapy, based on outstanding staff and a commitment to provide a high-quality service. Today the clinic has three locations and over twenty-four therapists providing specialist treatments in areas such as: Neurological Rehabilitation alongside the PD Warrior Programme, Balance/Vestibular Rehabilitation, Respiratory Treatment, MSK/Musculoskeletal Problems, Spinal Specialist Rehabilitation, Women’s and Men’s Health, Sports Massage and many more.
For more information about the Strolll Augmented Reality Therapy, please visit: www.hallamshirephysiotherapy.com/treatments/augmented-reality-therapy/
To watch a video of the open day and see the Augmented Reality treatment in action, please select the image below.