Motion-Controlled Video Games for Fibromyalgia

Woman suffering from fibromyalgia related painNew research indicates that motion-controlled video games (for example Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 Move, and Microsoft Xbox Kinect) may provide benefits to individuals with fibromyalgia.

Participants (all of whom had been diagnosed with this syndrome) went through five sessions on the systems mentioned above and described their symptoms before and after. Overall, they reported that the games were not only provided exercise, but also a pleasant distraction from their pain. They added that the PS3 was a little too fast-paced, the Xbox was the best exercise, and the Wii had a more comfortable, slower pace.

This slower form of exercise is great for those with fibromyalgia, because rigorous physical activity can trigger their symptoms. Numerous fibro clinical studies suggest that video games distract individuals with fibromyalgia from their pain, and the more immersive the game, the better. Also, fibro patients need consistent exercise–though this is also true for people who don’t suffer from the condition.

Benefits for Fibro Patients

Here are another couple reasons why motion-controlled video games are a great option for individuals with fibromyalgia:

  • You don’t have to leave home. If a fibro patient’s symptoms start acting up while he or she is at the gym, out on a jog, or on a bike trail miles from home, that person could have a hard time getting back. Video games eliminate this concern.
  • The system can track your fitness level. Wiis specifically have this feature, and it is helpful to keep track of what one has accomplished. That way, an individual with fibromyalgia will not over-exert him/herself and can keep track of the number for next workout.
  • The games are very versatile. Many games can be played standing or sitting, so you can amp up or scale back your workout according to your needs that day. You can also modify your choices to control which muscles you want to work out and which you would prefer to rest.
  • It’s fun! Video games are meant to be entertaining, and many fibro patients find these more interesting than jogging or going to the gym.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia are difficult to live with; however, medical professionals such as the researchers behind this study are discovering better ways to cope with fibro pain. In the end, what works best for you is a personal decision between you and your doctor, but motion-controlled video games could be a great potential option.


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