The Effect of Mental and Physical Practice on Standing Balance:The Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Approach

Document Type: Original Article


1 Instructor of Orthopaedic-Rehabilitation

2 Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic-Rehabilitation, Kerman University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Kerman, Iran


The researches have shown that mental practice has the effective role in aquisition of motor skills. On the other hand in orthopaedic rehabilitation, balance exercise is used effectively to improve proprioception impairment that resulting from joint injuries. Little work has been done to evaluate and compare the effects of mental (M), Physical (P), and mental - physical (MP) practice on standing balance. This study was designed to assess and compare these effects. Sixty normal healthy volunteers randomely assigned in four groups: Control, M practice, P practice, and MP practice. M group imagined balance exercise on wobble board, P group performed that actually, and MP group performed both procedures together. Each group perfromed its practice daily up to five days. All subjects were evaluated to determine their average balance time at both the begining and the end of practice period. Results were compared in each group and between groups. Each three exercise groups showed significant improvement in compare with control group (P<0.001). There was considerable difference between MP and other groups in balance inhancement (P<0.0001). No significant difference was seen between improvement of M and P group. The results showed
that all practice methods enhace balance. So it is reasonable to consider mental practice as temporary
suitable replacing in individuals who are unable to do P practice due to bed rest or any muscloskeletal
injury making P practice contraindicated. In addition patient who performs MP practice can achieve best
results because of strong effect of MP practice on balance training.