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Flashcards in Balance Deck (22)
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Where are somatosensory receptors located?

Joints, muscles, ligaments, and skin to provide proprioceptive information regarding length, tension, pressure, pain, and joint position.


T or F: Tactile input from the ankle, knees, hips, and neck provide balance information to the brain.



How do you challenge the somatosensory system?

Examination of pressure and vibration; observation of a patient when changing the surface they are standing on

(E.g.—uneven surfaces, standing on foam, slopes)


Why are visual receptors important?

Allows fro perceptual acuity regarding verticality, motion of objects and self, environmental, orientation, postural sway, and movements of the head/neck.


What population relies heavily on visual input for balance?



How do you challenge the visual system?

Examination of quiet standing with eyes open; observing balance strategies to maintain COG w/ and w/o visual input.

Assessment of potential visual field cuts, hemianopsia, pursuits, saccades, double vision, gaze control, acuity is necessary.


What is the importance of the vestibular system?

Provides the CNS with feedback regarding the position and movement of the head what relation to gravity.


What structures are apart of the vestibular system?

Labyrinth which consists of 3 Semicircular canals filled with endolymph and two otolith organs


What is the purpose of the semicircular canals?

Respond ot the movment of fluid with head motion


What is the main function of the otoliths?

Measures the effects of gravity and movement with regard to acceleration/deceleration


How do you challenged the vestibular system?

-Examination of balance with movement of the head

-testing such as Dix-Hallpike maneuver, bithermal caloric testing, assessment for nystagmus, head trust sign

-testing of the vestibuloocular reflex


What are the 2 balance reflexes?

Vestibuloocular Reflex (VOR)+ Vestibulospinal reflex (VSR)


What is the function of the VOR?

Allows for head/eye movement coordination


What does the VOR support?

Supports gaze stabilization through eye movement that counters movements of the head. This maintains a stable image on the retina during movement


What is the function of the VSR?

VSR attempts to stabilize the body and control movement

Also assists with stability while the head is moving as well as coordination of the trunk during upright postures


List the automatic postural strategies.

1. Ankle Strategy

2. Hip Strategy

3. Suspensory Strategy

4. Stepping Strategy


Describe the ankle strategy.

-1st strategy to be elicited by a small range and slow velocity perturbation when feet are on the ground

-Muscle groups contract in a distal to proximal fashion to control postural sway from the ankle joint


How is the hip strategy elicited?

Elicited by a greater force, challenge or perturbation through the pelvis and hips


Describe the hip strategy.

The hips move (in opposite direction from the head) in order to maintain balance

Muscle groups contract in a proximal to distal fashion in order to Counteract the loss of balance


When is the suspensory strategy used?

Used to lower the COG during standing or ambulation in order ot better control the COG.

(E.g.—knee flexion, crouching or squatting)


When is the suspensory strategy often used?

Used when both mobility and stability are required during a task (such as surfing)


When is the stepping strategy elicited?

Elicited through unexpected challenges or perturbations during static standing or when the perturbation produces such a movement that the COG is beyond the base of support.

The LE step or the UE reach to regain a new BOS