Carrick Institute

The Three Components of Balance

Our ability to maintain balance relies on three main components:

1️⃣ Vision
2️⃣ Vestibular Function
3️⃣ Proprioception

When we take an individual through a balance progression, our goal is to eliminate each component one at a time to narrow down which system that person is relying on.

▪️ Begin with feet together, eyes open, on a solid surface- here all three systems are working together.
▪️ The individual then closes their eyes, eliminating vision and causing them to rely on their proprioception and vestibular system to maintain balance.
▪️ If we were to then place the person on a foam surface AND close their eyes we would be eliminating vision and reliable proprioception, causing the patient to rely more heavily on their vestibular function.
▪️ There are more progressions to this that we will be discussed in future posts

*Note: this progression also looks at cerebellum function when looking at sway patterns as we narrow in the stance and make it more difficult! Look for the INITIAL sway, not the counter sway when assessing cerebellum.

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