Functionally directed balance testing: Are task-oriented balance tests a future ?
This paper deals with static and functionally directed balance testing. Traditionally, static posturography have been used to assess postural stability under various conditions. Though such assessment has shown sufficient reliability of repeated measurements, there has been a problematic discrimination of individuals with different level of balance capabilities, and its ability to detect slight changes in postural control system after intervention. Recently, task-oriented balance tests in form of visually-guided center of mass (COM) target-matching task and visually-guided COM tracking task have become a part of test battery evaluating the efficiency of athletic training and rehabilitation. These tests have been found sensitive to reveal within and between group differences, as well as changes in postural control system after different forms of exercise programs. Findings gained in the field of sport and rehabilitation can be explored in clinical medicine and physical therapy. This also supports future research toward exploring novel alternatives of functional balance assessment.