An Investigation of the Efficiency of Sensory Systems Involved in Postural Control in Deaf Athletes and Non-Athletes

Document Type: Research Paper


1 . PhD Student Corrective Exercises and of Sport Injury, Department of Sport Medicine, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 . Assistant Professor, Department of Sport Medicine, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 دانشیار گروه فیزیوتراپی دانشکده توانبخشی دانشگاه علوم پزشکی شهید بهشتی


The current study aimed at investigating the efficiency of visual, vestibular and somatic sensory systems in postural control of deaf athletes and non-athletes. For this purpose, 30 adolescents aged between 15 and 20 with congenital severe deafness were assigned to athlete and non-athlete groups (mean age 18.08+1.17 yr, height 173.04+6.82 cm and weight 59.41+7.47 kg) by purposive sampling method. A Biodex stabilometer was used to measure the postural control of the subjects in four different sensory conditions to find out the shares of visual, vestibular and somatic systems and the efficiency of each sensory system was calculated by Nashner formula. The SPSS version 18, descriptive statistics and independent t test were used to analyze data (α≤0.05). The results revealed that the efficiency of all sensory systems involved in postural control of deaf athletes was significantly better than deaf non-athletes. The most efficient sensory system involved in postural control was the somatic system in both groups and visual and vestibular systems occupied the next places respectively. It seems that better lower extremity strength and musculoskeletal control in athletes may result in their better balance. Furthermore, the negative effect of the lack of vestibular data in staring process can influence the reduced efficiency of visual system in postural control of deaf subjects. The results of this study can be used to design rehabilitation plans for deaf subjects which show that those musculoskeletal training which improves somatic sensory system may have a greater effect on the balance improvement in the deaf so it is suggested that such training should receive more attention in sport and rehabilitation plans of the deaf.


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