Recovery Rapids was created by a team of physical therapists, neuroscientists, game designers, and stroke survivors at The Ohio State University
Motor practice and exercise is obviously important for recovery, but many people don't have access to an intense therapy. For example, CI therapy - the treatment that Recovery Rapids is based off of - is only offered in a few specialty clinics and is very expensive (about $9,000 for self-pay). We wanted to make the intensive motor training of CI therapy available through a fun game that can be played in the clinic or in the home. Recovery Rapids promotes 500 - 1,200 movements per hour.
Recovery Rapids is designed to deliver Constraint Induced Movement therapy (CI therapy) virtually. Clinical trials have shown that CI therapy can produce sustainable improvements in movement regardless of a person’s age or how long ago the injury occurred. CI therapy works well because 1) it intensively trains the weaker arm and 2) it changes the habit of not using the weaker arm for daily activities. A multi-site clinical trial of Recovery Rapids is being prepared for publication. It showed that people who adhered to practicing at home with Recovery Rapids achieved gains in motor function that were similar to those receiving in-person CI therapy. These findings are consistent with other research on gamified motor rehab. Research from many different labs shows that game-based interventions work as well as clinical interventions, so may be a great option for people with limited access to in-person therapies.
Recovery Rapids was designed for people with neurologic or balance impairments. The games can be played seated or standing to accommodate all users. For the upper extremity rehabilitation game, the player must have some ability to control the weaker arm in order to operate the game. He or she must be able to 1) extend the arm 20 degrees in front of the body, 2) extend the arm 20 degrees to the side, 3) flex the elbow 30 degrees.
Users will have the best results when they play Recovery Rapids at home between consultation visits with a therapist. We offer consultations to teach the features of the game to patients and therapists. The game is easy to set up, so home users can operate it independently. Recovery Rapids should only be used by those for whom light to moderate cardiovascular exercise is medically safe.
Yes. Recovery Rapids can be played seated or standing. Many participants in our clinical trials were wheelchair users. If balance or falls are a concern and a support person is unavailable to assist, we recommend playing from a seated position.
The amount of motor practice needed varies from person to person. People with greater impairments likely need more practice to get to their maximum ability level and can sometimes keep improving after more than 100 hours of practice. People who played for 15 hours or more had better results than people who played less and they retained their gains long-term. We encourage users to play 15 minutes to 1 hour per day at the discretion of a therapist or physician. Not everybody will respond to motor practice alone, so consult with a therapist to examine other therapies that could supplement motor practice if you do not notice improvement.
Recovery Rapids works the trunk muscles that help with balance and stability. This may improve walking ability for certain users, but Recovery Rapids hasn't yet been tested in clinical research for its ability to improve walking.
Clinical trials show that the average improvement is about 25% of the way back to normal, but improvements ranged from 0% to 80%. Breaking the habit of not using a weaker arm requires more than just game play, however. In addition to playing the game, the weaker arm must also be used for daily tasks as much as possible for maximum improvement.
Possibly. Research shows that moving the weaker side of the body can help draw attention to the neglected side.
The upper extremity game progresses the user to work on hand function, but hand movement is not required to begin the Recovery Rapids journey.
Some therapists use it for this, but we do not yet know how it impacts cognition. The game does require the user to think ahead about what movements they will make and to do some multi-tasking.
Recovery Rapids delivers light to moderate cardiovascular exercise, similar to walking. Advanced users can play with small weights to increase the challenge. Playing Recovery Rapids increases heart rate to within the target heart rate range for cardiovascular training. Please check with your doctor to make sure that exercise will be safe for you prior to starting any exercise program, including Recovery Rapids.
The Recovery Rapids game is currently in development for premarket review by Food and Drug Administration as a rehabilitation device for hemiparesis. Statements pertaining to the use Recovery Rapids have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this website should not be construed as medical or rehabilitative advice and the game has not yet been approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Use of the game for any use other than entertainment or exercise has not been cleared by the FDA.