Saturday, January 29, 2011

What is the Romberg Test?

During each visit with the neurologist, I get to go through the steps of testing balance and gait.  The term gait refers to how you walk.  It’s fun getting to show off my abilities on any given day.  However, there is one particular neurological test which always gives me a chuckle.  It is the Romberg Test.

"What is the Romberg Test?"

The Romberg Test is a neurological test which detects poor balance and defects in proprioception.  The test involves standing with your feet together and closing your eyes.  The doctor will observe how you are able to maintain your balance and an upright posture.  The doctor may even push you slightly to see whether you are able to compensate and maintain an upright posture.

The very first time I underwent this testing, I thought that my neurologist had shoved me in the middle of the back.  He quickly told me to open my eyes.  My mother, who had come with me to the visit, told me later that he had caught me as I was quickly falling backwards.  I had no idea.  I had demonstrated a positive Romberg sign.

During the past couple of years, I don’t even need to close my eyes when I’m standing with my feet together before I begin to sway and wobble.  I can’t feel my feet which makes feeling their positioning more difficult.  As a result, I hardly ever stand with my feet together and I definitely don’t close my eyes in the shower.  My physical therapist even has a nifty testing device which can map the amount of swaying I do under different circumstances.

Read this post in its entirety:

MS Signs vs. Symptoms: What is the Romberg Test?


  1. Days b4 my DX in 1990, I passed this test with flying colors. Now I would fail due to weak legs. So many different things can cause loss of balance with eyes closed. My partner has always failed this test, yet, as I watched two times, one neuro told her she was faking it, FAKING IT! Obviously we did not go back. That is one Seattle neuro who should be barred from being a doctor. (Just not being able to keep her balance after eye closing, upsets her to this day, as she once was a dancer to whom balance was everything.) Me? I don't care, my soul is in balnace, my mind finds balance, ya know?

  2. FYI:

  3. I'm pretty sure my Ronberg test was a mess, as the balance component on my Wii Fit reminds me that I can hardly stand w/ eyes closed, let alone walk and chew gum at the same time!