Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Mechanical and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Bradley Davidson

Second Advisor

Kim Gorgens

Third Advisor

Kevin Shelburne


Traumatic brain injury, Concussion, Balance, Motor control, Center of pressure (COP)


Concussion assessment in athletes has gained prominence due to potential long-term consequences of traumatic brain injuries. Evaluating balance alterations is crucial for understanding post-injury motor control strategies. This study introduces a novel approach to understanding center of pressure (COP) dynamics during quiet stance tasks for assessing balance impairments in athletes recovering from concussion. Concussed athletes often experience impaired motor function and cognitive deficits, increasing the risk of orthopedic injury. Traditional balance assessments focus on total COP (COPt), overlooking nuanced hip and ankle mechanisms. This research investigates COP variations between constant loading (COPc) and variable loading (COPv) signals in concussed athletes during quiet stance. NCAA Division I athletes participated in comprehensive concussion assessments including quiet stance trials on force plates. COPc and COPv signals were analyzed for average velocity, root mean square of distance, and 95% range. Concussed athletes' data were compared to a baseline population. COPv exhibited greater sensitivity to concussion-induced balance changes compared to COPt. Bilateral stance with eyes closed on a foam surface emerged as a responsive assessment condition. Interpretation of COPv and COPc highlighted the influence of hip and ankle strategies. The findings suggest COPv analysis is valuable for assessing concussion severity and may complement existing diagnostic tools in a comprehensive evaluation. This study contributes to understanding post-concussive motor control adaptations and provides insights for improved assessment techniques.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Hannah McDade


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


69 pgs

File Size

3.1 MB