Balance is defined as the ability to maintain stability before, during and after an intentional movement with postural adjustments and by reacting rapidly and effectively to the external perturbation and other destabilising conditions. Individuals with hearing impairement have a reduced ability to maintain static balance, to perform dynamic body coordination, to move body extremities independently and to control the speed of movements as compared to people with normal hearing. As a result, people with hearing impairement have difficulties in performing everyday activities that involve balance. There are anatomical and physiological links between the hearing and balancing organs of the body, and hearing impairement has an impact on muscular coordination and interaction of the two.

Sporting activities are recommended for the rehabilitation of individuals with hearing impairement in order to minimise the negative effects of their disability. Sport also helps them to increase their muscular strength and balance skills, which leads to the development of psychomotor and physical fitness, and gaining orientation and movement skills needed for daily activities. Muscular strength and balance are also important factors for success in practicing sports. These are particularly essential in the practice of karate, in which the combative nature of the sport requires significant balancing skills and muscular strength.

MUSCULAR STRENGTH AND BALANCE ARE IMPORTANT FACTORS FOR SUCCESS FOR THE PRACTICE OF A SPORT. THESE ARE PARTICULARLY ESSENTIAL IN THE PRACTICE OF KARATE, IN WHICH THE COMBATIVE NATURE OF THAT SPORT REQUIRES SIGNIFICANT BALANCING SKILLS AND MUSCULAR STRENGTH.

 

In that context, a team from the Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Department at Ankara University (Turkey) has evaluated the use of the HUBER 360® platform to improve balance and muscle strength deficiencies in hearing-impaired karatekas.

 

27 athletes were recruited for this study:
• 18 men and 9 women;
• Average age 24,53;
• Members of the Ankara Athlete Research and Education Center (Turkey), as well as of the National Deaf Karate Team.

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Athletes were randomly assigned to either a stabilisation training group with an Isomed 2000 ISOCINETIC device (9 men and 4 women) or to an equilibrium training group with the HUBER 360® device (9 men and 5 women).

The exercise programme was 30 min/day and 5 days/week during 6 weeks for both groups. Each training session started with a 3-minute warm-up phase with follow-up by a physiotherapist and supervision by a sports doctor. In addition to the training protocol, all athletes have continued to participate in their own team training sessions conducted by their coaches involving sessions of 2-3 hours/ day and 5 days/week.

This is the first and only study to measure the effect of different training programmes on muscle strength and balance performance in professional athletes with deafness. The evaluations were carried out before and after training. Results show that muscle strength and balance have improved in both groups with better balance performance for the HUBER 360® group on the following measured parameters:

  • Stability test with closed eyes: 29% improvement for the HUBER® group (parameter evaluated: length of the statokinesigram) (no improvement in the other group).
  • Stability test on the non-dominant side (athlete standing with one leg in a knee bend position and the other on the ground): 45% improvement for the HUBER® group; 28% for the ISOCINETIC group.

 

In conclusion, training on the HUBER 360® has helped deaf karate athletes to improve their muscle strength and balance performance. These results clearly support claims of this medical device since they were obtained in a population where disability has negative effects on balance and coordination.

 


SOURCE:

Akınoğlu B, Kocahan T. Stabilization training versus equilibrium training in karate athletes with deafness. J Exerc Rehabil. 2019 Aug 28;15(4):576-583.

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