Improving Balance with Motor Imagery

February 8, 2020

 

Pilot Study:

The Rehabilitative Effects of Guided Motor Imagery on Gait and Balance in Older Adults

 

Abstract:

Objective, This study’s purpose was to assess the efficacy of motor imagery in improving gait and balance dysfunctions and reducing fall risk.

Methods, 11 community-dwelling older adults (aged 70 years old and older) with self-reported difficulties in gait/balance were randomly placed in either a physical therapy (PT) or motor imagery (MI) group for 1 week.

Results, Both groups demonstrated improvement in post-test and retention measurements compared to baseline.

Discussion, MI and PT interventions over a brief time showed similar effectiveness in improving functional gait and balance. However, the MI group retained improvement and tended to increase in improvements one-week post-intervention, where the PT group stayed the same or decreased in ability (testing: TUG, Berg, & ABC Scale*). These results suggest that MI may be a valuable intervention to reduce fall risk.

 

 

* Timed Up and Go (TUG), Short-Form Berg Balance (Berg), & Activities-Specific Balance (ABC) Scale

 

(c) 2015

 

 

Keywords: gait training, balance training, geriatric, fall risk

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