Articles for December 2011

NeuroCom SMART EquiTest® system is here!

…and the response is astounding!

We have already analyzed multiple patients of various ages and medical diagnoses on NeuroCom’s SMART EquiTest®, and we’ve been able to reveal the underlying vestibular, visual, and upper motor neuron pathologies that contribute to their feelings of unsteadiness.

This computerized dynamic posturography system was developed by balance research funded by NASA, and is used by NASA itself to treat astronauts to prepare them for space travel and reacclimatize them to earth. What such a precise balance analysis system has offered us, in the physical therapy world, is the ability to design personalized, and extremely specific, treatment plans that actually work.

Balance Assessment San Diego

If we discover that you rely primarily on your eyes for balance, the EquiTest® can help us determine whether you compensate visually for poor proprioception, poor vestibular function, or both. If you have poor proprioception, which is your joints’ awareness of their position in space, we can improve this by
1. Determining the true source of proprioception decline
This could be anything from a compressed nerve in your lumbar spine weakening your muscles and depressing your sensation, to joint stiffness and/or swelling limiting the function of joint receptors
2. Designing a tailored plan to improve your proprioception
This could involve postural exercises, improving your joint function by stretching and strengthening, and training comprehensively on challenging surfaces.

If you have poor vestibular function, which is your body’s own system to assess rotational motions and linear accelerations, we will assess your vestibulo-ocular reflex and screen you for various brain dysfunctions, and provide you with exercises to challenge your vestibular system in the areas that are impaired.

Most importantly, though, we will help you understand your dysfunction. This is, we feel, the area where physical therapy fails the most often. If you understand why your balance is impaired, you will be able to make the adjustments in your own life to live as safely and independently as possible.

Clearly, we are only scraping the surface, though. Our team is planning to attend a comprehensive three day training course in the next two months, so we can truly take advantage of the many ways this system can help us help you to regain your balance.

Keith Mahler Physical Therapy is, to our knowledge, the only private physical therapy clinic in San Diego County that offers this comprehensive technology.