Research shows that athletes often demonstrate decreased stability after a concussion. The deficits in stability and balance are often explained by a sensory interaction problem that prevents concussed athletes from accurately using and exchanging information from the visual, vestibular, and somatosensory systems. Difficulty in balance control can persist even after signs and symptoms of concussion subside. Many times the athlete may appear to not have symptoms and even pass a computerized cognitive test. In these cases, the lingering effects of a balance disturbance from head trauma would not be detected without a balance assessment.
In fact, research has shown that balance assessment, in combination with cognitive testing and a graded symptoms checklist, increases overall sensitivity to greater than 90%.
Measuring Postural Sway
Postural stability testing is an accepted objective measure to evaluate athletes with acute cerebral concussion. Effects in postural sway can be identified by our PT’s at their evaluation and at follow-up assessment points. During these assessments we will be able to identify any balance or stability issues. TBTW can work closely with your provider, coach, family and others to make sure you return to your previous athletic level safely. We also work closely to help identify the safest time to return to sports and other activities.
TBTW’s Biodex Balance System SD is a sophisticated measuring and training device for static and dynamic balance testing and training. It is specifically designed to systematically test the athlete’s balance and sensation process by compromising available somatosensory, visual, and vestibular senses while measuring an athlete’s ability to minimize postural sway. The Sway Index is an objective measurement of postural sway and is measured during the mCTSIB. The test provides a generalized assessment of how well an athlete can integrate various senses with respect to balance, and compensate when one or more of those senses are compromised. A higher Sway Index indicates a reduction in the athlete’s ability to remain steady during the test.
The detailed information produced by this machine is used by your PT, doctor/provider, coach and other members to determine your progression after concussion and when it is safe to return to sports and other activities. By utilizing the Biodex Balance System, we are taking the “guess work” out of when you can safely return to sports.
TBTW wants to work with your Team!
TBTW has a portable version of the Biodex Balance system that we bring to sports teams, schools and other facilities. We test each athlete at the start of the season to determine their baseline. In the case that an injury does occur, this gives us objective information on what is “normal” for each particular athlete. This baseline is used to more accurately predict when the athlete has returned to “‘normal” and when return to other activities is suggested.
TBTW also offers more in-depth pre-sport baseline testing in our clinic. This service is available to individuals as well as for large groups/teams.
Interested in what TBTW can do for your team? Call or email us for more information.