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Romberg test: what is it and how is it performed

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

If in your family you have a history of neurological diseases or have detected abnormal movements or some type of problem with speech, it is necessary to consult a neurologist, who is the specialist in charge of evaluating the alterations at a neurological level.

There are cases where gait disorders or difficulty are evidenced that require a specialized medical evaluation with studies according to the symptoms and the symptoms presented by the patient. One such test is Romberg’s, named after the founder of clinical neurology, who dedicated his life to the study of the nervous system. This test is very valuable, it must be carried out with great care so that its result and interpretation are correct and according to what the patient feels. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain in detail what the Romberg test is and how it is performed.

What is the Romberg test?

The Romberg test is a clinical procedure performed to find disorders in the coordination, movement and balance of a person.

It is used as a diagnostic test in patients who have dizziness, imbalances, clumsiness and falls, frequently indicated by specialists in neurology. To maintain balance, neurological systems are combined, such as vision, the vestibular system, which is what gives the brain information about the position of the head in relation to the body, and proprioception (knowing where the body is in relation to the body). to space). Even losing some of these faculties, the patient should be able to maintain balance.

How is the Romberg test performed?

The Romberg test is very easy to perform, but it must be solved by a specialist, since only he will be able to obtain the results with greater precision. This procedure is carried out as follows:

  1. The patient should be placed standing with the feet together and the arms stretched out at the sides of the body.
  2. Maintain that position for about 30 seconds with your eyes open without receiving any help in order to maintain balance.
  3. Then the patient is asked to close his eyes.
  4. If at the moment the person closes his eyes, the person maintains his balance, the test will be classified as negative. Otherwise, if instability is evident, it is considered a positive Romberg.

This test can be complemented by repeating the maneuver placing the feet one in front of the other so that the toe of one touches the heel of the other.

Positive Romberg test: causes

In the event that the specialist doctor considers the Romberg test positive, the cause that gives rise to this result should be investigated.

The positive Romberg test reveals the loss of balance and coordination as a result of:

  • Vestibular disorder: caused by an alteration in the inner ear, it is one of the most common causes that can give rise to imbalance or lack of coordination. In this case, a full vestibular study will be required.
  • Injuries to the central nervous system alter the ability to locate body position at any time.
  • The vitamin B12 deficiency affects balance because this nutrient has an essential role in the central nervous system. A study should be done to evaluate the levels of this vitamin.
  • There are some conditions that can affect the spinal cord , such as neurosyphilis, which can cause a positive Romberg test.
  • Some sensory nerve conditions such as sensory peripheral neuropathies or Friedreich’s ataxia.

Romberg test types

These tests are used to perform postural balance exploration in patients with dizziness and coordination disorders:

  • Romberg of cerebellar origin: in this case, the lateropulsion or fall is immediate and strong in any direction. It is not modified with the eyes open or closed, sometimes, the instability is so great that the test cannot be performed because the patient is unable to bring the feet together.
  • Romberg due to proprioceptive involvement: this becomes positive when the eyes are closed.
  • Romberg of vestibular origin: in this case, the fall or deviation is on the same side that is damaged or backwards opposite to the direction of the rapid movement of the eyes. This can vary according to the position of the head. This sign can be positive with both closed and open eyes, when it occurs with open eyes it is less intense.

With the performance of this test, it is possible to differentiate a cerebellar syndrome from a vestibular one, in addition to other neurological disorders that can put the balance and even the gait of patients who suffer from it at risk.

Do not hesitate to go to a specialist doctor , he through the medical history and personal history will investigate the presence of neurological disorders capable of triggering alterations in which the patient’s nervous system is at risk. In the case in which specialized tests are needed, the doctor will be the one to request them to make the precise diagnosis and indicate the treatment to be followed in the shortest possible time and with the best benefits for the patient.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Romberg Test: what it is and how is it performed , we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests .

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