The Static Stabilometric platform is a device that allows to evaluate the motor function and balance in standing position.
The maintenance of the upright position is in fact a motor task typical of the bipedal posture in which the de-stabilizing effect of the body mass has to be balanced, with the barycentre at about 60% of the height from the supporting surface in a generally more advanced position than the ankle axis.
The human being acquires this capacity, which requires the coordination of motor skills on the basis of voluntary acts, taking into account the specific and exteroceptive information currently available.
The evolution of the musculoskeletal structure, the practice of motor acts, but also the loss of functionality of the structures themselves, cause a continuous adaptation of the motor patterns that are also affected by sensory changes – for example loss of vision – but also the loss of strength or of the ability to control.
It should also be remembered that nociceptive stimulation, sometimes even below the threshold of perception, interferes with the mechanisms of proprioception by altering the motor response.
The analysis of equilibrium in an upright position is therefore an important tool for functional assessment because it allows to recognize a dysfunctional state and, through the examination of the data acquired in the test, allows to formulate hypotheses of diagnostic analysis characterized by selectivity and appropriateness.
Therefore, among the fields of application of static stabilometry there are:
screening of the risk of falling - a serious problem for the elderly, especially in conditions of ``fragility``;
forensic medicine - for the assessment of suitability for “work at height” but also to objectify (or disprove) functional damage from ``whiplash``;
neurology - for the evaluation of functional deficits of competence;
rehabilitation medicine - to recognize and measure functional deficits;
sports medicine - for monitoring athletic condition.
The measurement of the equilibrium function in static standing is performed on a “Strength Platform”. It is an instrument placed on the ground on which the patient is asked to stand. Starting from the measurements of the ground reaction forces of the supports, the device processes the instantaneous position of the point of application of the resultant of all the pressures exerted on the platform from the feet of the subject called COP (Center Of Pressure).
The essential characteristics of this device are the “mechanical” performances of the measuring plate which must not alter the information, the measurement accuracy and the calculation with the necessary repeatability and metrological accuracy characteristics on the whole band of possible oscillation frequencies of the patient, normally included within 3 Hz.
The measuring device consists of a large supporting surface, in order to provide the best comfort to the patient under test, which rests on the ground through four vertical load measurement sensors placed under the edges of the support surface.
The instantaneous load signals are sampled at 100 Hz and combined to calculate the position of the COP (Center of Pressure) with a precision better than 0.1 mm across the weight range (10-200 Kg).
The support surface, in a honeycomb panel, has a natural resonance frequency at the alternating load of over 200 Hz to ensure that all components of the Sway are effectively transferred to the load sensors and then to the processing of all the harmonics of the oscillation of the COP in the frequency band up to 10 Hz.
Powered by rechargeable battery the measuring device connects to the Control Console wirelessly thus providing the best ease of installation.
The processing and control console, optionally mountable on trolley, allows all the relevant operations and processing necessary up to the generation of the evaluation report in printable format (pdf).
While providing some standardized tests that are based on a robust sample of normality, the clinician is completely free to define the mode of testing (position, posture, duration, waiting time at start) that he considers best suited to the need.
The processing of the COP trajectory provides 42 parameters of diagnostic/evaluative interest among which, in addition to the classical and statistical parameters, a detailed harmonic analysis of the whole band up to 10 Hz, the parameters of Sway Density, the amount of the stability limits, a general index of functionality (SPF or Score of Postural Functionality) that, recently validated, allows a rapid and reliable global evaluation. A specific processing module also allows, in addition to the “standard” test, an assisted diagnosis suggesting to the clinician the possible implications of the numerical indications obtained.