By Chris Valuck
What is the Biodex Balance System?
If you’ve never seen this type of equipment, it is because The Biodex Balance System™ SD is generally seen in a rehabilitation setting as opposed to a health club or wellness center. In a senior rehab setting, Biodex might be used for fall risk screening and subsequent treatment; in a sports medicine setting it may be used as a tool to evaluate an athlete’s functional strengths and weaknesses to help develop a training program.
Biodex is suitable within a wellness center environment also, and Plymouth Harbor is fortunate to have this special piece of equipment in our new Wellness Center. With minimal instruction, a user can independently and at their own pace, perform several different exercises, such as static and dynamic balance activities, weight shifting, reaction time, and increasing limits of stability. Exercises can vary in difficulty to accommodate different ability levels of the user, to improve strength, range of motion, gait and balance. Since gait and balance disorders are high risk factors for falls, balance training is an important component to a regular fitness program at any age. (www.biodex.com)
One illustration as to the effectiveness of Biodex as a training protocol is a 2012 study conducted by Gusi et al. that incorporated the use of a Biodex in their study involving an older population. Fear of falling was the primary outcome of the study and dynamic balance & isometric strength was secondary. After a 12-week program of 30 minutes of balance training per week using the Biodex Balance System, the main findings concluded that the Biodex training protocols reduced the fear of falling and improved dynamic balance and knee strength. (Gusi et al., 2012)
While not intended to replace physical therapy, Biodex may improve strength, range of motion, gait, and balance among regular users. If you have not had a demonstration of the Biodex by a member of the Wellness staff, join us for our Equipment Orientation weekly at 11:00 a.m.
Gusi, N., Adsuar, J.C., Corzo, H., Pozo-Cruz, B., Olivares, P., & Parraca, J. (2012). Balance training reduces fear of falling and improves dynamic balance and isometric strength in institutionalized older people: a randomized trial. Journal of Physiotherapy, Vol. 58, 97-104.