The effect of Mental Imagery on Balance in Young Adults
Introduction: Motor imagery is mentally simulating an intended action without actually producing it. It involves processes involved in programming and preparation of actual actions. Extensive research has been done in the field of mental imagery, however not much has been done on the effect of mental imagery of balance. This study draws light on the effectiveness on mental imagery on balance in young asymptomatic adults.
Objective: To determine the effect of mental imagery as an adjunct to conventional balance exercises on the duration of stork stance and postural sway on the BESS scale in young asymptomatic individuals.
Methodology: After the ethics committee approval an informed consent was taken from the participants. 30 asymptomatic individuals were randomly selected in the age group of 18-24 years. Mentally and physically challenged individuals were excluded. They were divided into 2 groups, experimental and control group. They were evaluated for BESS (Balance error scoring system) and stork stance.Postural sway was measured with a postural swaymeter. Both the groups received exercises for a duration of 30 mins/week for 4 weeks. Group A received only conventional balance exercises. Group B received exercises same as the control group along with mental imagery as an adjunct.
Results: Group B showed statically significant improvement in stork stance duration(P<0.001)using paired t test. Group A showed no statistically significant improvement.On BESS , Group A showed statistically significant improvement in some components. But Group B showed less number of errors and significant reduction in sway on static as well as foam surface compared to control.
Conclusion: Mental imagery with balance training has shown positive effect on stork stance duration and BESS scale in terms of reduction in errors and sway while maintaining balance on both static and foam surface in young asymptomatic individuals.
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