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ANTONINO BIANCO

THE ANALYSIS OF BODY BALANCE IN A PARALYMPIC SPRINTER: A CASE REPORT

  • Autori: Battaglia, G.; Caramazza, G.; Bellafiore, M.; Bianco, A.; Palma, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2011
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • Parole Chiave: body balance, paralympic sprinter, movement controlen
  • OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/57386

Abstract

Introduction Trans-tibial amputation is responsible for biomechanical changes (i.e. absence of muscles, bones and joints) and modifications in both afferent and efferent projections. Because of these impairments, body balance is difficult to control and falls are a significant problem for trans-tibial amputees (Curtze et al., 2010). The aim of our study was to evaluate whether specific exercises can improve body balance in a paralympic sprinter (category: T-44) after 7 weeks of training. Methods The athlete was a healthy and active female subject (age: 37 years; weight: 58.2 Kg; height: 161cm; BMI: 22.45) with an unilateral transtibial amputation to 1/3 of the right lower limb since the age of 2 years and 6 months. The athlete was tested during the 6th and 7th mesocycle of training macrocycle prior XIII Paralympics Games, Beijing 2008. During the experimentation we added in her sessions of training specific exercises to improve balance control systems such as walking along a line or on a wood support with open and closed eyes (OCE); swaying on proprioceptive footboard with OCE ect. Before and during the experimentation the typical week of training included 5 sessions of ~2 hours. Every session included a warm up pattern for about 20 minutes (min), a training period including about 20 min of specific pre-athletic exercises and 50 min of specific work, and a cool down step for 20 min. Balance control indicators, such as mean speed (MS), lateral-lateral mean speed (MS-x), anterior-posterior mean speed (MS-y), sway path (SP) and ellipse surface area (ESA) of the body mass center were analyzed by unipedal test on left foot (UTLF) with open or closed eyes using a stabilometric platform. All data were acquired before and after the experimentation. Results During unipedal test on left foot with open eyes all stabilometric parameters did not show any relevant modifications; while in UTLF with closed eyes MS, MS-x, SP and ESA decreased after 7 weeks of training. Discussion The exercises stressing balance control system appears to affect the postural stability of an athlete with trans-tibial amputation. We suppose that these kinds of exercises can improve the proprioceptive system of body balance control and preserve the subject from the fall risk (Viton et al., 2000). References Curtze C, Hof AL, Otten B, Postema K: Balance recovery after an evoked forward fall in unilateral transtibial amputees. Gait Posture. 2010 Jul;32(3):336-41. Viton JM, Mouchnino L, Mille ML, Cincera M, Delarque A, Pedotti A, Bardot A, Massion J: Equilibrium and movement control strategies in trans-tibial amputees. Prosthet Orthot Int. 2000 Aug;24(2):108-16.