Balance Problems & Balance Difficulties

The OTvest ™ Weighted Vest can Help Improve Balance Problems and Balance Difficulties.

The OTvest offers a natural way to help treat balance problems and difficulties by utilizing effective weight placement in the weighted vest. It’s a simple, non-invasive intervention that can do so much!

The OTvest™ denim weighted vest can be used as a gentle intervention and natural treatment option for those who suffer from lack of body awareness (dyspraxia) or balance difficulties. OTvest wearers report decreased dizziness, an improved feeling of groundedness, improved sleep, and an improvement in balance, gait, and motor control.

The deep pressure therapy supplied from the  OTvest weighted vest provides proprioceptive input to the joint receptors, which in turn send messages to the brain about the body’s position. Proprioceptive input allows us to know, without looking at our arm, that our arm is behind us, next to our body, or up in the air, for example. Because deep pressure helps provide proprioceptive input, weighted vests can (if the weight is in the right position--like the OTvest) help improve coordination through the increased awareness of body positioning. The sense of body position is called kinesthesia, which is the awareness of the position and movement of the parts of the body by means of sensory organs called proprioceptors located in the muscles and joints. Weight pressing down on the muscle receptors, as in the OTvest, increases this sense of position awareness--thus, improving motor control.

Additionally, the OTvest™, with strategically positioned weights, helps compress the joints, and adds sensory stimuli for co-contraction. This allows the OTvest™ to be beneficial for postural stability, increasing not only the wearer’s awareness of where their body is positioned, but ALSO stabilizing the trunk--like someone placing their hands upon one's upper chest and upper back to help decrease sway and imbalance. 

The OTvest™, a deep pressure weighted vest, can help with body awareness because of the proprioceptive feedback sent to the brain as joint compression occurs, thus making one more comfortable with movement. This also allows the OTvest™ to help gently, naturally treat anxiety, if movement is a cause of anxiety or stress for the wearer. For those with ataxic dysarthria, dystonia, or athetoid cerebral palsy, wearing a weighted vest such at the OTvest™ can be a gentle intervention to improve quality of life by improving body position awareness, helping the wearer feel more grounded, improve movement, and decrease dizziness.

These results can also be seen in the classroom. The deep pressure therapy provided by the OTvest™ is soothing for the wearer, increasing focus and attention-to-task in the classroom. Activities such as cutting paper, coloring in the lines, and productive play, are all benefitted by wearing the OTvest™ weighted vest. Because of this, the OTvest™ can be a non-invasive classroom intervention for anxiety, tremors, ADHD, autistic behaviors, and more.OTvest-Alternative_medication-boy_and_family_at_playground

The OTvest adds pressure on the shoulder blades (scapula), upper back and upper chest of the wearer. This comfortable, deep pressure therapy can be applied any time of the day to improve trunk stability, and give the wearer better balance, upper extremity function, and improved body awareness.

Unlike other weighted vests, weighted blankets, or compression vests on the market, the OTvest can provide deep, sustained pressure using less weight than other weighted vests or compression vests. This is because the OTvest contains dense, steel plates, compared to the bulky sand or pellets found in other weighted vests. Not only this, but the placement of the weight is sitting DIRECTLY UPON THE WEARER'S BODY -- not hanging loosely in pockets as is the case in other weighted vests. This sustained deep pressure can create a sense of well-being, increasing focus and function, promoting better sleep, and decreasing anxiety, stress and agitation. The OTvest™, due to the increase in proprioceptive feedback felt by the wearer, improves balance and awareness of the body in space. In many cases, this helps decrease the accompanying anxiety that the lack of feeling “grounded” produces.

Why do weighted vests like the OTvest have this calming effect? Deep pressure is registered in the limbic system, hippocampus, and reticular activating system in the brain, and may stimulate the production of neurotransmitters to modulate arousal levels, similar to the effects of medications. The use of the OTvest applies this deep pressure in a holistic, non-invasive and easily applied, discreet manner, making it one of the best ways to help naturally treat anxiety, stress, agitation, and related conditions.

Robin, an OTvest wearer with cerebellar ataxia, began wearing the weighted vest in the hopes that it would reduce her lateral sway. The OTvest provided such an effective treatment for cerebellar ataxia in her case that Robin no longer needs to hold onto a wall or depend on support from her physical therapist when she wears the OTvest. Robin’s before and after experience wearing the weighted vest is recorded and demonstrated below.

In this video, Robin is wearing an OTvest size medium with 4lbs of weight.

Place an order by clicking here.

Look for the yellow "OTvest" label on the chest pocket to make sure you are getting the genuine OTvest. Others may look like the OTvest from the outside, but the weight placement is important. Only the OTvest has the patented weighted insert with weight lying directly upon the body. This makes the difference!

Note: The OTvest is not recommended for those with spinal cord problems and the accompanying balance problems associated with those disorders, such as herniated or dislocated discs, degenerative disc disease, or other spinal cord injuries. The balance problems that benefit from the OTvest, weighted vest are those with upper motor neuron and/or cerebellar problems described in the first paragraph.

References:

Lucy SD, Hayes KC. Postural sway profiles: normal subjects and subjects with cerebellar ataxia. Physiother Can 1985;37: 140-8.

Chase RA, Cullen JK, Sullivan SA. Modification of intention tremor in man, Nature 1965;4983:485-7.

Clopton N, Schultz D, Boren C, Porter J, Brillhart T. Effects of axial loading on gait for subjects with cerebellar ataxia: preliminary findings. Neurol Report 2003;27:15-21.

Gillen, G. (2000). Improving activities of daily living performance in an adult with ataxia. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, (54)1:89-94. 

Hewer RL, Cooper R, Morgan MH. An investigation into the value of treating intention tremor by weighting the affected limb.,Brain 1972;95:570-90.

Morgan MH, Hewer RL, Cooper R. Application of an objective method of assessing intention tremor–a further study on the use of weights to reduce intention tremor. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1975;38:259-64.

Morgan MH. Ataxia and weights, Physiotherapy 1975;61: 332-4.

Smedal T, Lydren H, Myhr KM, et al. Balance and gait improved in patients with MS after physiotherapy based on the Bobath concept. Physiother Res Int 2006;11:104-16.

Widener GL, Allen DD, Gibson-Horn C. Balance-based torso-weighting may enhance balance in persons with multiple sclerosis: preliminary evidence. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2009;90:602-9.