Dynamic balance deficits exist following a concussion, sometimes years after injury. However, clinicians lack practical tools for assessing dynamic balance.
To determine if there are significant differences in static and dynamic balance performance between individuals with and without a history of concussion.
Clinical research laboratory.
Patients or Other Participants:
45 collegiate student-athletes with a history of concussion (23 males, 22 females; age = 20.0 ± 1.4 y; height = 175.8 ± 11.6 cm; mass = 76.4 ± 19.2 kg) and 45 matched controls with no history of concussion (23 males, 22 females; age = 20.0 ± 1.3 y; height = 178.8 ± 13.2 cm; mass = 75.7 ± 18.2 kg).
Participants completed a static (Balance Error Scoring System) and dynamic (Y Balance Test-Lower Quarter) balance assessment.
Main Outcome Measures:
A composite score was calculated from the mean normalized Y Balance Test-Lower Quarter reach distances. Firm, foam, and overall errors were counted during the Balance Error Scoring System by a single reliable rater. One-way ANOVAs were used to compare balance performance between groups. Pearson’s correlations were performed to determine the relationship between the time since the most recent concussion and balance performance. A Bonferonni adjusted a priori α < 0.025 was used for all analyses.
Static and dynamic balance performance did not significantly differ between groups. No significant correlation was found between the time since the most recent concussion and balance performance.
Collegiate athletes with a history of concussion do not present with static or dynamic balance deficits when measured using clinical assessments. More research is needed to determine whether the Y Balance Test-Lower Quarter is sensitive to acute balance deficits following concussion.
Merritt is with the College of Chiropractic, Life University, Marietta, GA. Brown, Simpson, and Schmidt are with the Dept of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Queen is with the Kevin P. Granata Biomechanics Laboratory, Dept of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Blacksburg, VA.