A research group from UCAM wants to improve the performance and the balance of athletes
Thanks to the Dynamic Posturographic System, a new equipment of the Mar Menor Hospital, the Drs. Francisco García-Purriños, Alberto Raposo Jimenéz, Alfonso Marco Garrido, Andrés Barrios Recio and Germán Daniel Zayas, from the research group in medical surgical pathology of head and neck of UCAM, could carry various studies to determine which system is damaging patients with balance loss.
In the human body, various systems intervene in maintaining the body balance, or stability, in case of vertigo: the auditory system, the muscular system or the visual system, among others. The pathologies affecting them are common in medicine, and often come from the deficiency of one of those systems.
The researchers explored the method with different groups of patients, each with a different special pathology: people with phobias, patients with chronic pain or elderly. The dynamic posturography, technique to objectively evaluate the postural control through the study of movement of the centre of pressure, has already shown proven results to reinforce the clinical diagnosis in case of vertigo. This method enables to know the functional status of patients and the control of the balance through quantified information about the functioning of the different sensory systems involved in postural control.
After completing the tests with the technology of the Hospital del Mar Menor, the researchers elaborated a computer program to develop a treatment plan tailored to each pathology. After the success of this method, the research group from the Catholic University obtained financial support from the Ministry of Sport of the Region of Murcia, to develop this project with healthy athletes in order to improve their performance thanks to a better appreciation of their stability.
The canoeist Borja Alonso Gómez, from the Mar Menor Club sponsored by UCAM, did the test. Aged 21, it has already been nine years since he started practicing at a high level. In his sport career, balance is essential to improve performances, because he always has to maintain it to avoid falling into the water. If his performance results already are impressive, Dr. Zayas, with whom he underwent the test, still detected a dependence on the visual system. From this diagnosis, the team of the Hospital of Mar Menor taught him some exercises, designed like video games, that might help him to correct this minor deficiency.
“The test is really good, funny and the results curious. It is good to know which fault we still have” declares the athlete, about to leave the Hospital. “If I had this opportunity, believe me, I would take it. I recommend it. There are a large variety of exercises that put you in front of very interesting challenges”.
To carry out this new project, UCAM disposes of a wide range of high-level athletes who can take part in the study, to design individual and customized programs that may improve their performance.