Whether it’s boxing out on the basketball court or making a cut on a soccer field, balance is key for athletes. And when they lose it—due to concussion or other injury—they can’t compete at full speed.
But if sports medicine clinicians had a better way to monitor specific aspects of balance, they could help their athletes get back on the field faster and more safely.
Department of Health & Kinesiology assistant professor Peter Fino wants to take his cutting-edge reactive balance testing out of the lab and onto the field. He and his colleagues received a Pac-12 Student-Athlete Health and Wellbeing Grant to research whether he can translate their methods into a smartphone app that’s easy for clinicians to use.
“There are already apps that monitor balance, but this would be the first to measure reactive balance, the type of balance control that you use when you’re mechanically disturbed,” Fino said. “For athletes, it’s what keeps them on their feet when they’re being pushed and pulled around in competition.”