Brain Injuries: Testing Balance to Diagnose Concusssions

The long-term consequences of a concussion or brain injury can be severe. For many victims of traumatic brain injury or concussion, their condition is not recognized or diagnosed for weeks or months after the injury. It is often a family member notices personality changes or the victim notices memory lapse and other loss of cognitive function. Now an advanced balance test could help to diagnose concussions early on.


Any brain injury can leave a victim unable to work or handle everyday tasks. For victims of severe brain injury after a car collision or other accident, severe head trauma can result in permanent damage. Our Charlotte brain injury attorneys are experienced in helping brain injury victims protect their rights. We are also dedicated to staying abreast in trends to identify and treat concussion or brain injury.

The balance machine was created to test the vestibular system in the body, which relies on the inner ear to process information about gravity pull and movement. Basically, the system allows the body to gauge the way that things are moving around you and to help understand your position in relation to the earth and other objects. In one way it can simply be described as “balance” but it is also a more complicated sort of “GPS” for the human brain.

Seasickness and post-amusement park ride illness are examples of a vestibular system gone awry. Similarly, you could also have an awry vestibular system after you suffer from a concussion. Those being tested with the device are told to stand still and hold on to a metal platform that is attached to a computer system. The computer is able to gauge the slightest movements while the subject closes their eyes. With the eyes closed, the body is forced to make adjustments to maintain balance. The subject may have to step on foam pads which can shift balance and create an uneven platform. In this position, the subject must shift weight and concentrate to maintain balance.

Physical therapists are being trained to perform the tests with a balance machine. Those who have suffered from a concussion may not pass the test within normal limits. After a concussion or other bump or blow to the head, a victim may suffer symptoms such as headache, dizziness or even illness. Because not all victims lose consciousness, a brain injury can be difficult to identify.

After a car crash, slip and fall or other accident, a victim may experience dizziness or balance issues. A test by an experienced balance professional may help to determine whether that patient has suffered a concussion or other brain injury. The new technology is a unique tool because it can objectively quantify and assess the range of sensory, motor, and other adaptive mechanisms that could indicate a brain injury or lack of balance control.

Athletes can also benefit from this new testing machine. As we have discussed in previous posts, athletes are at risk of repeat concussions and long-term brain damage. Anyone who has suffered a brain injury should pursue immediate and follow-up medical care. Recovering from a concussion or other brain injury could require refraining from sports and other high-risk activities.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation with our North and South Carolina attorneys. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Resources:

Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, April 12, 2013

Are Hands-Free Devices the Answer to the Distracted Driving Problem?, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 6, 2013

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