A Virtual Reality Lower-Back Pain Rehabilitation Approach: System Design and User Acceptance Analysis
Low back pain (LBP) affects people of all ages and it is a very common health problem globally. Eighty percent of all people may have experienced LBP in their life. Furthermore, there is no perfect strategy which can be used to treat all kinds of LBP patients. Moreover, LBP rehabilitation takes a long period of time, while patients may lack motivation to finish the entire course of treatment. As a result, LBP poses substantial impact on individuals, organizations and society. Fortunately, the advancement of computing hardware and software offer us a virtual reality based solution in the rehabilitation field. For example, cheaper and highly accurate wearable devices can also be used to coordinate with analytical software packages in order to carry out motion tracking and measure a patient’s movement promptly and effectively.
Therefore, in this study, a VR-based LBP rehabilitation system utilizing wireless sensor technologies to assist physiotherapists and patients in undertaking three stages of rehabilitation exercises for low back health is proposed. The major functions of this VR system are as follows: (1) Monitor and correct a patient’s posture to establish basic movement patterns. (2) A physiotherapist can customize appropriate rehabilitation programs for an individual patient in order to enhance muscle strength and endurance. (3) Provide supports to a patient so as to establish whole body and joint stability.
A total of twenty LBP patients have been recruited for this study, and a user acceptance of technology questionnaire is used to investigate the effectiveness and efficiency of the system proposed. Participants are treated 2–3 times a week for 4–6 weeks and experimental results demonstrate that uses of this VR system for rehabilitation courses have a high degree of technology acceptance and patients are willing to continue to use this system for LBP rehabilitation in the future.
KeywordsWireless sensor IMU Virtual reality Low back pain
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