Balance disorders are among the most frequent impairments of individuals who have sustained a brain injury. The rehabilitation of balance is a major goal for interventions because balance and postural control are crucial in most daily activities.
In 1986, Horak and Nashner postulated that the balance behavior, however complex it may be, consists of a limited repertoire of central motor programs. They identified three different movement synergies, known as the ankle, the hip, and the stepping strategy, which are executed continuously with the common objective of stance, but with different mechanisms. While the goal of the ankle and hip strategies is to maintain the center of pressure within the base of support, the stepping strategy aims to expand the base of support in such a way it includes the center of pressure.
Leaving aside the controversy of these findings, in a series of experiments we have investigated the effect of training these strategies through virtual reality-based interventions in the balance condition after a brain injury.