What is a balance assessment test?

A balance assessment test measures a person’s potential for falls in order to make decisions on which factors require intervention. Balance disorders can seriously affect physical and social function — leading to falls or fear of falls, which could lead to social isolation.

What are the goals of a balance assessment test?

The goals of a balance assessment test include:

  • Identify whether a balance problem exists
  • Determine what is causing your balance issue to help predict your risk of falls and determine effectiveness of interventions

What to expect during a balance assessment test

A balance assessment may be divided into three approaches:


Functional balance tests can help examine balance status and any changes you experience after intervention. Functional tests rate your performance on a set of motor tasks or determine how long you can maintain balance in a particular position.

Systems/physiological assessment

A system approach to balance assessment can help determine the cause of the balance deficit to ascertain how to most effectively treat it.

Quantitative assessment

Quantitative assessment, such as posturography, analyzes your postural sway during a stance. Your physical therapist may customize a treatment for patients based on information from posturography.

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