Balance as a Risk Factor for Athletic Injuries

Human upright posture is one of the fundamental skills necessary for successful acquisition of “super-postural activities” such as grasping, reaching, walking, jumping, catching, etc. Most importantly, postural stability allows proper balance preventing numerous health-related problems including traumatic injuries. Charles Darwin pointed out that one of the most important implications of the attainment of uprightness was that it freed the hands from locomotion function, so that they became available for sustained use in other directions, such as implementing instrumental activities. Nevertheless, our bodies are still subject to what Arthur Keith (1923) called the “illness of uprightness”. Although the upright posture has been the subject of considerable research, our knowledge about balance and human postural control, in general, and poor balance as predisposing factor for athletic injuries, in particular, is still incomplete. In this chapter, a brief perspective of some key issues in the postural control of humans will be provided. An emphasis will be given to current research on the role of cortical function, specifically the cerebral cortex in balance control. Finally, current perspectives on links between improper balance and sport-related injuries will be discussed.


Postural Control Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Postural Response Ankle Sprain Mild Traumatic Brain Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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