University of Portsmouth - Treadmill tricks speed recovery

September 4, 2008

Patients who need physiotherapy following a stroke or accident could soon be put through their paces in a virtual reality environment thanks to a researcher at the University of Portsmouth. Wendy Powell, a PhD student in the School of Creative Technologies, is creating a rehabilitation programme that places patients on a treadmill and into a virtual world. The programme uses moving images to trick patients' brains into thinking they are walking more slowly than they are, which in turn encourages them to walk faster and further. Early results suggest that patients using virtual rehabilitation may experience less pain than those using traditional physiotherapy alone.

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