Manual Therapy Improves Standing Balance

By | November 25, 2013

9332385_sDynamic standing balance is fundamental to perform daily activities. Balance impairment occurs in up to 75% of people aged 70 years and older and is common in people with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders such as stroke and arthritis. Given the high prevalence of balance impairments and their potential impact on function, interventions to improve balance are an important public health concern. There exist many methods to restore standing balance including stability exercises, functional retraining, and manual therapy. A recent study investigated the effects of manual therapy using a rearfoot distraction manipulation on dynamic standing balance. Twenty healthy participants completed this study. Dominant leg balance was quantified using the Y-balance test which measures lower extremity reach distances. Reach distances were normalized to leg length and measured in the anterior, posteromedial and posterolateral directions. Overall balance was calculated through the summing of all normalized directions. The study showed that dynamic standing balance improved after a rearfoot distraction manipulation in healthy participants.

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