Assessment of postural stability following sport-related concussion

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2003 Feb;2(1):24-30. doi: 10.1249/00149619-200302000-00006.


Despite the increased amount of research being conducted in the area of sport-related concussion, there is still a limited understanding regarding its effect on the injured brain's ability to control motor functions and coordination. This review determines the efficacy of postural stability testing as an adjunct to concussion assessment of athletes. Multiple studies, using both sophisticated force plate technology, as well as those using less sophisticated clinical balance tests, have identified postural stability deficits lasting several days following sport-related concussion. It appears that postural stability testing provides a useful tool for objectively assessing the motor domain of neurologic functioning, and should be considered a reliable and valid adjunct to the assessment of athletes suffering from concussion. Although symptom severity, neurocognitive function, and postural stability are often affected initially following concussion, they are not necessarily related or even affected to the same degree. Each of these should be considered when attempting to make return-to-play decisions following concussion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia / diagnosis
  • Ataxia / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Concussion / complications*
  • Feedback, Physiological / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neurologic Examination / methods
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology