The Syncrude Centre for Motion and Balance is a state-of-the-art facility for the assessment of motion difficulties (primarily in walking) and the assessment and treatment of balance disorders. A combination of computer-based technology and highly specialized staff allows for a previously-unavailable objective approach to the collection of information critical to the assessment of a clientï¿½s motion or balance. This information can then be used to provide a customized treatment plan for each client. For motion difficulties, this plan may include detailed directions for surgical intervention: alternatively, non-surgical options may be indicated. For balance disorders, the assessment information may be used to put together a customized rehabilitation program, which uses the balance technology as a training aid.
The Centre serves clients of all ages with motion or balance issues related to neuromuscular, orthopaedic or neurological conditions, limb amputation, vestibular dysfunction, as well as clients who are at risk of falls.
The Centre features a multidisciplinary team consisting of physician specialists, physical therapists, audiologist, an engineer and a kinesiologist. The technology used provides objective assessment information to guide the team in providing effective treatment options. This goal of this approach is increased independence and enhanced quality of life.
Motion Analysis is a combination of techniques that record the motions of a subject performing a task, plus the muscle activity and forces that create those motions. Differences between this information and information obtained from the typical population indicate the motion deficits and the functional reasons for these deficits, thereby guiding the clinical team towards suitable treatment. Gait Analysis is a type of Motion Analysis that looks at walking (gait) problems.
Reflective markers are placed on the skin, over bony landmarks (see photograph). The motion of these markers is recorded by a series of specialized cameras ï¿½ a central computer then uses this information to calculate the motions of the subjectï¿½s joints. Electrodes on the skin surface record muscle activity, while force recordings from panels in the floor are used to calculate net muscle forces about the joints.
Surgical recommendations from a Gait Analysis may include muscle lengthenings, muscle transfers, or alterations to the bones of the lower limbs. Non-surgical recommendations may include bracing (or adjustments to existing bracing), therapy, or pharmaceutical intervention.
Balance Technology - Impaired balance is commonly seen in clients with chronic dizziness, in the majority of patients following a stroke, brain injury or amputation, and in the elderly. It can produce major challenges when performing everyday activities.
The balance services in the Centre feature computer-controlled Posturography. Here, the senses used for balance are systematically challenged by changes to the enclosed environment in which the client stands (see photograph). The responses to these challenges provide an objective method for isolating and quantifying balance impairments and for developing appropriate patient-specific rehabilitation treatment.
The technology is also used in the treatment process by providing challenges that retrain the client either in the use of the impaired sense, or in the compensatory use of the other senses.
The Centre provides specific benefits to clients and families including:
The Centre was established through funds raised in the CH Health Smart Capital Campaign including an Alberta Lottery grant.
This Centre is the first of its kind in North America to use state-of-the-art motion and balance technology and a specialized multi-disciplinary team to support client assessment, treatment and research for people of all ages.