Normative Data for the NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test in US Military Special Operations Forces.
CONTEXT: Postural stability is the ability to control the center of mass in relation to a person's base of support and can be affected by both musculoskeletal injury and traumatic brain injury. The NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test (SOT) can be used to objectively quantify impairments to postural stability. The ability of postural stability to predict injury and be used as an acute injury-evaluation tool makes it essential to the screening and rehabilitation process. To our knowledge, no published normative data for the SOT from a healthy, highly active population are available for use as a reference for clinical decision making. OBJECTIVE: To present a normative database of SOT scores from a US Military Special Operations population that can be used for future comparison. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Human performance research laboratory. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: A total of 542 active military operators from Naval Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (n = 149), Naval Special Warfare Command, Sea, Air, and Land (n = 101), US Army Special Operations Command (n = 171), and Air Force Special Operations Command (n = 121). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Participants performed each of the 6 SOT conditions 3 times. Scores for each condition, total equilibrium composite score, and ratio scores for the somatosensory, visual, and vestibular systems were recorded. RESULTS: Differences were present across all groups for SOT conditions 1 (P < .001), 2 (P = .001), 4 (P > .001), 5 (P > .001), and 6 (P = .001) and total equilibrium composite (P = .000), visual (P > .001), vestibular (P = .002), and preference (P > .001) NeuroCom scores. CONCLUSIONS: Statistical differences were evident in the distribution of postural stability across US Special Operations Forces personnel. This normative database for postural stability, as assessed by the NeuroCom SOT, can provide context when clinicians assess a Special Operations Forces population or any other groups that maintain a high level of conditioning and training.
Pletcher, ER; Williams, VJ; Abt, JP; Morgan, PM; Parr, JJ; Wohleber, MF; Lovalekar, M; Sell, TC
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