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Otorinolaringologia 2002 March;52(1):1-6

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Effects of lower limbs proprioceptive deafferentation on postural control. A stabilimetric study

Saraniti C., Giuliano D. A., Caramanna C., Dispenza C.

Università degli Studi - Palermo Clinica Otorinolaringoiatrica R *Clinica Otorinolaringoiatrica B


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Background. The static and dynamic equilibrium of the body derives from three fundamental afferent systems brainstem integration: the visual, vestibular and somatosensorial ones. Experimental studies and clinical findings have underlined the role of the somatosensorial system in the right postural strategies formulation. The aim of this paper is to assess the role of feet receptors and of legs muscles somatosensorial afferences on static postural control in subjects without balance diseases and related risk factors.
Methods. Twelve subjects, 7 males and 5 females (mean age±SD: 40±7.1 years; age range: 29-46 years) have been enrolled. The study has been performed, using the static posturography, in four different conditions: normal function of all balance subsystems, plantar anesthesia with feet receptors afferences suppression induced by a hypothermical treatment, legs muscles somatosensorial afferences exclusion induced by an ischemic method, feet receptors and legs muscles afferences abolition obtained with a hypothermical and ischemic combined treatment.
Results. In all the sensitized tests a significant increase of postural sways amplitude and frequency has been recorded. It was more evident in the hypothermical-ischemic combined treatment than in the others. The posturographic numerical parameters showed a directly proportional trend with the entity of the test sensitization.
Conclusions. The findings of the present study suggest that both feet and legs muscles somatosensorial afferences play an important part in the body postural control. Their suppression induces a considerable decrease of sensorial inputs on which the postural system effectiveness depends, causing a sensorial deficit that the brainstem can’t compensate.

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