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Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2010 Aug;30(4):182-9.

Postural control and risk of falling in bipodalic and monopodalic stabilometric tests of healthy subjects before, after visuo-proprioceptive vestibulo-postural rehabilitation and at 3 months thereafter: role of the proprioceptive system.

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Department of Neuroscience and Sensory Organs, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Unit, S. Filippo Neri Hospital, Rome, Italy.


Nine healthy volunteers (6 males, 3 females), mean age 34.5 years (SD = 11.52), underwent a vestibulo-postural rehabilitation cycle with a visuo-proprioceptive-type stimulus. All subjects in the study group were evaluated by means of stabilometric bipodalic and monopodalic tests both before and immediately after treatment, and again 3 month thereafter. The Delos Postural Proprioceptive System®, DPPS (Delos, srl, Turin, Italy), was used in performing these stabilometric tests and in the rehabilitation exercises. The first aim of the study was to evaluate to what extent the functional level of the proprioceptive system was reliable, in healthy subjects, in the control of postural stability; the second was to demonstrate the possibility to increase this level by means of a novel visuo-proprioceptive feedback training; the last was to establish whether or not the increase achieved was permanent. The bipodalic test did not reveal any deficit in posture either before or after rehabilitation. The monopodalic test prior to treatment, with eyes closed, revealed, in 2/3 of the study group, evidence of the risk of falling, expressed as the precautional strategy (8.57 ± 6.18% SD). An increase in the proprioceptive activity, obtained in the subjects examined immediately after the visuo-proprioceptive vestibulo-postural rehabilitation, led, in the monopodalic test, with eyes closed, to a significant reduction in the risk of falling (with the precautional strategy equal to 1.09 ± 2.63% SD, p = 0.004). The monopodalic test, with eyes closed, 3 months after rehabilitation, demonstrated results not unlike those pre-treament with values, therefore, not more significant than those emerging from the pre-treatment test. Thus, from the above-mentioned data, it can be observed that, also in healthy subjects, there may be different levels of postural proprioceptive control related to a high risk of falling. These levels can be maintained constant for a certain period of time, until a significant reduction in the risk of falling is achieved, only if continuously stimulated by appropriate sensorial information.


Double-leg stance; Risk of falling; Single-leg stance; Vestibulo-postural rehabilitation; Visuo-proprioceptive feedback

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