Department of Exercise Sciences

Dynamic balance in children with Cerebral Palsy

The Department of Exercise Sciences Biomechanics Laboratory conducts numerous research projects.

Biomechanics Laboratory Project

A study of the effectiveness of a three-dimensional, inverse dynamics, full body biomechanical model in evaluating and rehabilitation dynamic balance in children with Cerebral Palsy. Megan Moreau.

Dynamic stability is the maintenance of upright posture during whole body movement over a changing base of support. This consists mainly of keeping the body’s centre of mass within the base of support. Children with cerebral palsy do not have the luxury of normal development and must contend with mastering balance via the control of joints which have developed contractures, deformities and shortened muscles; all of which lead to the use of unique motor function adaptations in order to maintain dynamic stability.

To determine the mechanisms used by children with cerebral palsy a reliable measurement of dynamic balance will be developed, incorporating whole body centre of gravity paths, joint torques and moments, gait kinematics and energy flows. Secondly, that measure will be used to compare normally developed children with those with cerebral palsy to determine the different mechanisms used to balance when overcoming functional deficiencies. Finally, the differences in dynamic balance measures of the children with cerebral palsy both pre-treatment, be they surgical or otherwise, and post treatment will be measured and compared to determine what treatments, if any, will improve the measure of dynamic stability for these children.