During physical therapy sessions at Florence Rehabilitation Center, your therapist may conduct balance testing to determine if you have any postural imbalances or control issues. We may use the results of balance tests to help identify areas that can be strengthened and improved during your physical therapy sessions. We also conduct tests for balance and coordination if you have symptoms that indicate a potential balance disorder, such as unexplained dizziness, vertigo, spinning, lightheadedness, feeling faint, and general unsteadiness on your feet. In these cases, you may have difficulty walking, climbing up stairs, riding a bike, putting on shoes, and many other daily tasks that require some semblance of balance. Regardless of the purpose, you can rest assured that our physical therapists at FRC are practiced and skilled at conducting various balance tests.
Physical therapists utilize balance tests to design treatment plans for those with conditions that may affect balance resulting in injuries or falls. For instance, some neurological conditions specifically require balance rehabilitation, as do many geriatric physical therapies. Balance tests are also used in physical therapy to identify areas of focus for treatment and as a method of tracking progress or evaluating which therapies are effective or not for you.
BERG Balance Scale: This balance and postural stability test focuses on stationary balance tasks to assess your ability to maintain balance while standing in various positions. For example, with or without their eyes closed, standing heel-to-toe, standing from sitting, and other such positions or movements.
Dynamic Gait Index (DGI): This test is used to evaluate balance and gait (walking) ability. The main focus is to assess how you balance during walking and other movement tasks. You may be asked to walk, then run, step over items or obstacles, walk while carrying items, or walk with your head turned in various directions.
Tinetti Balance Assessment: This is a more comprehensive test that combines assessment of balance and stability during stationary times and in movement. Some assessments include sitting balance, arising from a chair, standing balance, balance during walking, turning, and other mobility-related tasks.
Function in Sitting Test: Exactly as it sounds, this assesses your capacity to perform functional tasks while you are sitting, such as reaching, bending, transferring objects, and maintaining stability in different sitting positions. It tells your physical therapist a lot about your functional limitations and abilities in seated positions.
Timed Up and Go (TUG): This functional mobility and dynamic balance test requires you to perform common daily tasks to assess your fall risk. It measures the time you take to rise from a chair, walk about 10 feet, turn around, and return to a seated position.
The results of balance tests can help guide your physical therapist with treatment that may include balance training, strength exercises, gait training, or assistive device recommendations. The balance tests also serve to track changes in functional mobility over time and evaluate if your interventions for improving balance and reducing fall risk are effective.
If you think you may require a balance assessment test, contact us at Florence Rehabilitation Center today! Our team has over 25 years of experience in balance testing and you can rely on our accurate results and compassionate approach during your testing. Give us a call today and we’ll set up an appointment.