Balance Vest

I've seen this before, bookmarked it, then forgotten about it. I'm seriously looking into it now.

Sometimes I wear 1Kg ankle weights, I can walk/balance much better with them on.

This balance vest makes a lot of sense to me, I can walk much better wearing a heavy backpack, or even carrying a heavy weight in my (right) hand.

I have some money to experiment with, I may try some of these

It makes sense to me that simply lowering my centre of gravity will improve my balance considerably.

I'll trawl round a few websites and see if I can find a few wearers of the genuine article, get some pics/first-hand reports, etc.

Still haven't bought my AFO yet.

3 Replies

  • I have noticed in the past that if I carry shopping bags equally I am much better with my balance. Weights on my legs will be a problem as I don't lift my legs high enough now and will end up tripping. A balance vest seems a good idea.

  • Yes, Cherie.

    I'm going to buy a pair of these

    Purely to lower my centre of gravity.

    I'm thinking of wrist weights as well.

    Here we go, just found this...


    The use of external body weights, although controversial, is occasionally employed to improve balance or mobility in patients with ataxia or tremor. This case report describes the effect of torso-weighting to counteract directional balance loss in a woman with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis.


    Clinical examination of a 40-year-old woman after multiple sclerosis exacerbation revealed loss of balance in the posterior direction during quiet standing as well as loss of dynamic balance in the posterior and lateral directions. The patient's standing posture was with her trunk posterior to her pelvis. She exhibited decreased strength in both extremities and trunk, diminished sensation in the right lower extremity and palms, and an unstable ataxic gait. Difficulty with walking and severe fatigue and dizziness were also reported. Standing balance and alignment were examined during (1) quiet standing with eyes open and eyes closed, (2) transitional movements, and (3) multidirectional trunk perturbations. The patient demonstrated a loss of balance and alignment in the posterior direction in all tests.


    Based on balance examination results, the patient was fitted with a 0.5-lb vest containing 1.5-lb of additional weight placed anteriorly on the torso at the level of the umbilicus. Progressive balance, gait, and functional activities were repeated both with and without weighting the torso over six weeks.


    Immediately on weighting, the patient demonstrated less sway in quiet standing, increased stability when perturbed, improved body alignment, and less ataxia during gait. The patient was able to accomplish more challenging activities with better balance while weighted. Functional improvement in walking and improved control during balance activities were demonstrated in later treatment sessions without weighting.


    Placing small amounts of weight asymmetrically on the torso, based on directional loss of balance and alignment, seemed to assist this patient in maintaining balance during static and dynamic activities. Additional research may help determine whether this intervention is applicable to others with directional losses of balance, ataxia, or multiple sclerosis to improve balance control.

    Not rocket science. My right leg is weaker, I tend to stumble in that direction, I'll try a weight on the other side.

    I'll have my wife make me up a vest, I'll try all different positions for the weights

  • One thing that I have noticed is that when I am lying down doing bench press I have some ability to raise my legs (with knees bent). Without the weight pressure, I have almost no ability to raise my legs. Something similar happens when I do pull ups. I have always found this weird, but the phenomenon is probably related to the concept behind the balance feet.

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