Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological condition where lesions occur on the nervous tissue can cause damage to the myelin sheath which in turn causes interruptions in the delivery of messages from the brain to the cells in the rest of the body. The symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis are varied and depend upon the position and extent of the lesions.
The main aim of physiotherapy is to promote and maintain maximal independent function for as long as possible. Remissions necessitate ongoing assessment and flexible management of the therapy plan. Strengthening weak muscles, especially around the core can help to maintain control of balance in sitting and standing.
The Wii and games that can be played on it offer an easy and motivational way to continue engaging in gentle physical exercise. The Wii Fit games extent the benefits to balance, predominantly in standing but also in sitting if physical ability compromises standing balance. Games requiring the use of fast and repetitions movements can help to maintain general fitness as well as upper limb strength, especially if combined with the use of wrist weights.
Weakness can compromise balance and may increase the risk of tripping or over balancing when using the Fit Board. Caution is needed not to ‘over exercise’ as a common after effect of using the Wii amongst the general population is muscle strain, caused by the lack of a physical end point of the movements needed to play the games (e.g. Wii Sports Boxing).