Balance control is a complex relationship between the central
nervous system (CNS), peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the
skeletal muscle system.
Among the most important contributions
of the CNS to balance control is cortical (higher learning center)
integration of input from the proprioceptive, visual, and vestibular
systems to interpret spatial orientation. Traditional balance
equipment is designed to challenge either proprioception or the
vestibular system. Proprioceptive training equipment is composed
of a solid surface placed upon a base designed to cause the
surface to tilt and rock to varying degrees. The magnitude of the
challenge to the proprioceptive system is linearly related to the
degree of movement.
Vestibular training equipment is composed of
pliable foam, gel or air filled cushions that are designed to separate
the source of proprioceptive input, the feet, from the ground.
Additionally, this type of equipment provides very little movement,
further limiting the input from the proprioceptive systems. Our
new training devices combine the principles of a high degree of
movement and employing a pliable surface to challenge all CNS
systems involved in balance control.
By concurrently challenging
the proprioceptive, vestibular and visual systems of the CNS
during balance training our devices represent a new opportunity
that can improve training for athletes and individuals with balance
impairments resulting from disease or injury.
This technology has the following advantages:
easily allows individuals to move
between different balance