Research Reports - Characterization of balance control after moderate to severe traumatic brain injury

Olinda Habib Perez Robin E Green George Mochizuki

Physical Therapy, pzy065,
Published: 06 June 2018

Balance impairments after traumatic brain injury (TBI) are common and persist after injury. Postural asymmetries in balance have been reported, but not quantified, across recovery.

The objective of this study was to characterize balance recovery after moderate to severe TBI, with a focus on postural asymmetry.

A secondary analysis of prospectively collected data was used in this study.

Data were from 45 participants with moderate to severe TBI. Participants’ balance in 2 bipedal stances and 2 unipedal stances was assessed with force plates at approximately 2, 5, and 12 months after injury. Single-visit data from participants who were matched for age and served as healthy controls were collected for visual comparison using 95% confidence intervals. Spatial and temporal center-of-pressure (COP) measures were calculated from force plates in the anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions.

Despite improvements in net ML COP postural sway from 2 to 5 months after injury, there were no changes in AP postural sway across recovery. Postural sway in individuals with TBI was higher than normative values at all time points in both directions. Interlimb synchrony did not change across recovery in either direction. TBI weight-bearing asymmetry was lower than normative values at all time points and did not change across recovery. The characteristics of unipedal stance differed between limbs.

Sample size was reduced as a result of the inclusion and exclusion criteria; future studies will benefit from a larger sample size.

The absence of recovery in ML COP postural sway, interlimb synchrony, and weight-bearing symmetry indicated that reduced ML control may contribute to balance impairments after TBI. These impairments may extend to dynamic balance tasks and may also place individuals with TBI at a higher risk of falls.

« Back to Special Reports

Contact Us

We will gladly answer all or your questions about rehabilitation at Centre for Neuro Skills.


phone 1.800.922.4994
or Request a Callback

brain injury store

free brain injury newsletter

why choose cns for brain injury rehabilitation

brain injury newsletter

brain injury store