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The effect of approximation on postural sway in the elderly

1 May 1990


Approximation is used by physical therapists as a therapeutic technique to improve standing balance. In order to assess the effectiveness of this technique to decrease postural sway, thirty normal people of age sixty-five years and older were tested. The Ther Ex AT-1 forceplate system was used to measure postural sway area under three randomly ordered conditions: i.control, 2.standing on a polyurethane foam mat, and 3.standing without visual input. A pre-test and a post-test measurement was taken for each condition. In each post-test, except the control, a twenty pound weighted belt was worn at the pelvis to apply the approximation. No significant decrease in postural sway was found in any of the conditions after the approximation was applied. A significant difference (p < .01) was found in the amount of postural sway between each of the conditions.


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