Proprioception Training for Balance


Effects of 12-week proprioception training program on postural stability, gait, and balance in older adults: a controlled clinical trial.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a 12-week-specific proprioceptive training program on postural stability, gait, balance, and fall prevention in adults older than 65 years. The present study was a controlled clinical trial. Forty-four community dwelling elderly subjects (61-90 years; mean age, 78.07 ± 5.7 years) divided into experimental (n = 20) and control (n = 24) groups. The participants performed the Berg balance test before and after the training program, and we assessed participants’ gait, balance, and the risk of falling, using the Tinetti scale. Medial-lateral plane and anterior-posterior plane displacements of the center of pressure, Sway area, length and speed, and the Romberg quotient about surface, speed, and distance were calculated in static posturography analysis (EPS pressure platform) under 2 conditions: eyes open and eyes closed. After a first clinical evaluation, patients were submitted to 12 weeks proprioception training program, 2 sessions of 50 minutes every week. This program includes 6 exercises with the BOSU and Swiss ball as unstable training tools that were designed to program proprioceptive training. The training program improved postural balance of older adults in mediolateral plane with eyes open (p < 0.05) and anterior-posterior plane with eyes closed (p < 0.01). Significant improvements were observed in Romberg quotient about surface (p < 0.05) and speed (p < 0.01) but not about distance (p > 0.05). After proprioception training, gait (Tinetti), and balance (Berg) test scores improved 14.66% and 11.47% respectively. These results show that 12 weeks proprioception training program in older adults is effective in postural stability, static, and dynamic balance and could lead to an improvement in gait and balance capacity, and to a decrease in the risk of falling in adults aged 65 years and older.

Martínez-Amat A, Hita-Contreras F, Lomas-Vega R, Caballero-Martínez I…
J Strength Cond Res Aug 2013
PMID: 23207891