How can balance be measured?Balance can be assessed using simple tests such as standing on one leg, timing your ability to get up from a chair or standing with your feet together with eyes closed. You can try these tests at home to see if you wobble unsteadily or if standing on one leg is more difficult than the other.
To get more accurate and specific information, computerised balance testing can be performed. It is a simple and painless 5 minute assessment. Your results are then compared to ‘normal’ individuals of the same age, sex, height and weight.
Computerised balance assessments give detailed information about your:
- Risk of falling -- how likely are you to suffer a fall and under what conditions?
- Sway pattern -- how far are you swaying from centre and in which direction/s?
- Likely weakness -- do you need to rehabilitate your visual, vestibular, proprioceptive or a combination of these systems?
- Balance age -- what does your balance suggest your age is?
This information is vital for creating an efficient treatment plan including home exercises. For example, if we know what conditions you are more likely to fall over in, we can put measures in place to prevent those situations. Additionally, we can give individualised body, head and eye movements which will strengthen your balance performance.
What conditions might balance testing be useful for?
- Dizziness & vertigo
- Migraines & headaches
- Balance disorders
- Falls risk
- Concussion assessment
- Chronic pain
- Childhood developmental delays
- Yoga, dance and gymnastics injuries
Advantages of computerised testing compared to old-school bedside testing
Computerised testing allows for a more precise assessment compared to relying solely on the practitioner’s observation skills.
Tracking ChangesComputerised testing allows progress to be tracked over time. Is your treatment the most appropriate for you and your condition? Is your balance improving or are you wasting your time with your home exercises?
About the author:Neuro-rehabilitation consultant and Chiropractor, Cassie is a trained in brain-based therapies to thoroughly assess and manage chronic pain, migraines, dizziness and developmental concerns. Cassie utilises computerised balance assessments as part of her examination. Cassie’s holistic treatment approach includes hands on therapy, home brain-based exercises and supplements.
More information on balance and balances testing:
- What does computerised balance testing involve? (coming soon...)
- Why is balance important? (coming soon...)
- What is the vestibular system? (coming soon...)
- What is Chiropractic Neuro-rehab?
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- Concussion screening assessments (coming soon...)