Today’s concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) rehab post is about balance and proprioception.
BALANCE: an even distribution of weight allowing someone to remain upright/steady.
PROPRIOCEPTION: awareness of the body position or movement.
Staying upright isn’t something we actively think about, but our body is constantly processing various signals to ensure we can move around throughout our day. Our feet, eyes & ears, and neck all give our brain information about where we are in space and how to stay upright.
Because mTBIs can affect the ears, eyes, or both, balance is often impaired in concussion patients. After assessing their balance, patients receive a balance program to help correct any impairments. The balance test is also important to have as a baseline; improvements in balance help practitioners track the patient’s progress, and give the patient a sign of improvement.
Signs that your balance or proprioception are affected are dizziness, swaying when walking, rocking when sitting, or falling down. While concussion contributes to balance impairments, there are many other reasons – check in with a trained physiotherapist for a balance assessment if you’re concerned!
-Victoria Mokriy, PT