Technology-assisted Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Rehabilitation using serious games: the Roller Ball example
The adverse effects of improper posture and unhealthy computer usage habits on human physiology have been well documented. Prominent among these, the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition where the median nerve passing through the wrists carpal tunnel is compressed causing pain, numbness and tingling in affected parts of the hand. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, treatment may include physiotherapy and/or surgery. The present paper discusses possibilities that technology-driven physiotherapy based on serious games can augment a more traditional physiotherapy exercise curriculum. Accordingly, we present a Unity3D game called Roller Ball, the scenario of which combines CTS-specific physiotherapy exercises in a natural scenario-based way to guide a ball across a bridge in a 3D scene. The game employs the Leap Motion sensor, whose detailed wrist and hand (including fingers) tracking abilities make it a promising hardware platform for rehabilitation oriented exercises intended for patients suffering from CTS.
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