Closing the gap between rehabilitation and daily activities
The goal of balance rehabilitation is to optimize the use of available sensory information and develop strategies while experiencing the wide variety of sensory conditions present in daily life. Balance specialists strive to expose patients to the widest possible variety of visual and surface conditions encountered in daily life so that their patients leave with the confidence they can gradually return to interacting out in their community.
Maintaining balance depends on adaptive interactions among multiple sources of sensory information. The most notable components are the vision, vestibular and somatosensory systems. Individuals with one or more of these systems impaired could experience disorientation and/or unsteadiness which might benefit from Balance Assessment and Rehabilitation.
Rehab technologies, like Bertec’s Dynamic CDP equipment, can assist balance rehabilitation specialists by expanding the number of complex visual and support surface environments that can be used for retraining within a safe clinical setting. These same technologies also enable the clinician to assess their patients’ progress through the collection of objective data, allowing for accurate tracking of improvement over time.
New Technology Enhancing Patient Care
Advancements in technology will continue to increase the effectiveness of balance rehabilitation. Significant leaps forward in computer processing, image production and device miniaturization are making Immersive Virtual Reality a practical approach to Balance Advancement and Rehabilitation.
Historically, the complex visual environments have been among the most difficult to reproduce in the clinical setting. Immersive Virtual Reality systems have only been practical in sophisticated research labs and flight simulations training schools for pilots. Technology is changing all of this, allowing for the creation an almost limitless number of visual scenarios. Several examples include:
- Busy street
- Grocery aisles
- Target/object identification
Effective Patient Management
- Incorporating engaging novel environments for patient specific therapy and progression
- Applying motor learning principles of goal oriented, task specific interventions
- Since these task are created in safe clinical settings, performance can be carefully monitored and task complexity adjusted to maximize each components interaction
- Using objective documentation to enhance the determination of evidence based medical practices
- Multidisciplinary teams joining to provide a comprehensive approach to effective patient management