The Multi-Sensory Balance and Gait Trainer
Affordable, portable & easy-to-use, Balance Matters® is a device based on science that incorporates sensory feedback (visual, auditory and tactile) to improve sensory processing, equilibrium strategies & gait mechanics.
Balance Matters® was designed to offer a wide variety of training options and a set-up that can be replicated in the home environment as easily as it is to set up in the clinic. Utilizing multimodal feedback it maximizes motor learning performance outcomes.
Connecting People and Balance with a Click
(Click the playlist to watch all the videos to learn how to do the exercise and ways to make it fun!)
- Used in all settings: inpatient clinic, outpatient clinic, wellness centers, at home, group exercise classes and gyms
- Serves as an assessment tool for measuring step length and step width
- Targets specificity training of any or all of the sensory systems
- Improves temporal as well as spatial parameters of gait
- Promotes effective equilibrium strategies
Balance training can focus on the auditory system, visual system, tactile system, any combination of the above, or all of the above concurrently. Balance Matters™ allows specificity in sensory training of one or more impaired systems. It encourages anticipatory postural adjustments, improved gait mechanics, enhanced kinesthetic awareness, varied equilibrium retraining, and cognitive reconditioning.
Balance Matters™ also has versatility in the multiple environments where it can be used. Clients will benefit if they have acute medical conditions in the inpatient setting, are more medically stable but still have rehabilitation needs in the outpatient setting, are independent with their home programs and need maintenance in the home setting, or are interested in taking their balance to the highest level while working in the gym setting. Balance Matters™ is portable and the same system can follow the patient though all settings.
Training at Home
- Enhances motivation and confidence.
- Optimizes training with enhanced feedback features.
- Maximizes carryover of treatment from the clinic.
- Allows objective monitoring of progression.
Patients can bring home what they learn in the clinic. They can obtain their Balance Matters™ system to replicate the multisensory real-time feedback that skilled health care professionals provide in the clinic. This will facilitate progress achieved while actively receiving therapy. Additionally, after clients have reached the point of independence with their home programs they can be instructed on how to adjust intensity and level of difficulty over time to continue to make gains after discharge.
Motor Learning Optimization
- Allows clients to problem solve and self-correct their abnormal movement patterns.
- Enables treatment to be programmed at appropriate levels of intensity and difficulty.
- Challenges clients beyond their self-selected levels.
- Auditory feedback allows simple sensory processing and promotes symmetry of gait.
Balance Matters® is a multisensory feedback system that enables clients to know if they are performing their exercises correctly and to problem solve and self-correct their movement patterns. Immediate feedback provides the ability to focus attention and enhance performance. Clients perform at the appropriate levels of intensity and difficulty and are challenged beyond their self-selected levels. Auditory feedback allows simple sensory processing and promotes symmetry of gait. Information related to pressure from the lower extremities reduces reliance on vision for walking.
Components of gait that are challenged include step length, base of support, center of gravity, push off, forward progression, and initial contact after limb advancement. Static and dynamic standing balance are challenged and improved with gradual progressions in level of difficulty. Patients become cognizant of their gait mechanics including step width, step length, and foot angle. The enhanced feedback results in increased motivation to strive for higher levels of difficulty and intensity.
The system provides qualified healthcare providers with full control over the amount of feedback given to clients and facilitates the gradual reduction of feedback as clients progress through their exercise programs.
With consistent use of Balance Matters®, clients achieve smoothness and accuracy with movement by gaining sensitivity in error detection, improving sensory organization, integrating calibrated reflexes, and improving coordination. Refer to education section to learn more about structuring treatment interventions using some Neuroplasticity Principles.
The Balance Matters® system will benefit patients with gait and balance difficulties regardless of the underlying neurologic or orthopedic cause. Some medical conditions that can cause mobility difficulties include Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, neuropathies, and head trauma. There are also some vestibular disorders that cause dizziness and can improve by using Balance Matters®. Patients with osteoporosis can benefit from specific balance training to prevent falls and decrease risk of fractures.
Therapists can customize the balance program to address the somatosensory, visual, auditory, or vestibular impairments using specific sensory feedback while working on the multiple components of gait. This includes push off, initial contact, weight shifting, pivoting, trunk rotation, single limb stance, and limb advancement. Qualified healthcare providers can efficiently transition from balance testing to treatment. There are hundreds of exercises that can be prescribed, and embedded measurement tools provide objective documentation of therapeutic gains.
Patients who have significantly impaired balance and/or impaired gait can use their assistive devices while using the system. They can also exercise between parallel bars for safety during training as needed.