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Balance Examination in Concussion

presented by Susan Whitney, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Susan Whitney receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. Susan Whitney is a consultant for two Department of Defense grants related to concussion with IAI, Inc. She also teaches a continuing education course with Michael Schubert, PT, PhD.

Non-Financial: Susan Whitney is vice president of the International Neurological Physiotherapy Group of WCPT.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 38 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 18 Minutes

One of the hallmarks of concussion management is the assessment of balance and postural control. Within the first seven days post concussion, there is strong evidence that balance can be assessed with low-technology methods such as the Balance Error Scoring System, which was designed to detect balance problems in athletes post concussion. Recent evidence is summarized about the use of dual-tasking during gait in younger and older retired athletes that suggests that longer-term balance deficits can be identified with the use of technology. Accelerometers, cell phones, and motor capture detect balance and gait differences long after one to two weeks in persons who have experienced a concussion or mild head trauma. Balance tools that are currently being utilized in the clinic are reviewed, and new technologies for the assessment of balance in persons post concussion will be demonstrated in videos.

Meet Your Instructor

Susan Whitney, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA

Susan L. Whitney received her PhD in motor development/motor learning from the University of Pittsburgh, her professional physical therapy education from Temple University in Philadelphia, and her DPT from MGH Institute of the Health Professions. Currently, she is a professor in physical therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and treats clinically for…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Lower-Tech Balance and Gait Assessment

Balance and gait examination after concussion is a critical element of the physical examination in almost all postconcussion instruments. A review of the benefits and limitations of postural control instruments is provided, including low-tech alternatives to the assessment of balance.

2. Advances in Balance Testing in Concussion

Balance measures are changing rapidly in the assessment of persons post concussion. New technologies will be described, and the advantages and disadvantages of their use will be provided. Videos of some of the newer tools used in balance assessment are utilized to enhance the learner experience.

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