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Backward disequilibrium in elderly subjects

Authors Patrick Manckoundia, France Mourey, Dominic Pérennou, Pierre Pfitzenmeyer

Published Date September 2008 Volume 2008:3(4) Pages 667—672


Published 12 September 2008

Patrick Manckoundia1,2, France Mourey1,2, Dominic Pérennou2,3, Pierre Pfitzenmeyer1,2

1Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, University Hospital, Dijon, France; 2INSERM/ERIT-M 0207 Motricity-Plasticity University of Burgundy, Dijon, France; 3Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, University Hospital, Dijon, France

Abstract: Backward disequilibrium is observed frequently in daily clinical practice. However, there are no epidemiological data concerning this postural disorder. Defined by a posterior position of the centre of mass with respect to the base of support, backward disequilibrium is abnormal postural behavior, usually characterized by a posterior trunk tilt in standing and sitting positions, which predisposes subjects to backward falls. Many afflictions whether they are somatic (degenerative, ischemic and traumatic brain lesions), psychosomatic (psychomotor disadaptation syndrome, confinement to bed, nonuse situations) or psychological (depression) can cause backward disequilibrium. A vicious circle of falls, and loss of autonomy can arise and this is the main consequence of backward disequilibrium. Thus, in this paper, we review backward disequilibrium in elderly subjects with regard to the causes, consequences, assessment, and management.

Keywords: backward disequilibrium, balance, elderly subject, falls, posture

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