A few months ago we reviewed how gait speed is not only a great test to measure mobility, but why it should also be considered a vital sign (link). But have you ever wondered about assessing your patient’s ability to walk backwards? This is a more complex task needed for tasks such as backing up to a chair, opening a door, or avoiding a sudden obstacle. Or, have you ever wondered if there was a standardized testing protocol for backwards walking with normative data?
The study by Carter in 2017, called “The 3m Backwards Walk & Retrospective Falls: Diagnostic Accuracy of a Novel Clinical Measure” looked at walking backwards and falls. The study reviews:
The other day we had a patient whose history seemed like pretty straight forward BPPV. On examination, I anticipated there being nystagmus and the patient tightening their grip on my arm with Dix-Hallpike testing, but to my surprise Dix-Hallpike testing was negative when tested to the right and left. This was a bit anticlimactic and somewhat disappointing.
Have you ever been in this situation? Testing tells you one thing, but your gut says otherwise, so now what do you do? If you are not sure what to do next or are curious what we do at North 49, then this post is for you. In this post we will cover 7 things we consider to help us rule in/out BPPV when the initial testing is negative....