How to perform the SEBT (Star Excursion Balance Test).

assessment Feb 14, 2018

What Is The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT)?

The SEBT is a multiplane dynamic test designed to assess the ability of the patient or client to control the strength, mobility and balance of many joints and muscles of the lower limb across a range of different directions.

The SEBT has been used to assess lower limb injury risk factors from chronic ankle instability to ACL injuries. “The SEBT has been shown to be a reliable measure and has validity as a dynamic test to predict the risk of lower extremity injury, to identify dynamic balance deficits in patients with a variety of lower extremity conditions” (Gribble, P, Hertel, J, Plisky, P 2012).

Why Use The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT)?

The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) is a valuable objective test used in a clinical setting to:

  • Identify deficiencies or imbalances between limbs to be used as a screening test before further breakout testing and analysis.
  • Set baseline movement data and track progression over time for treatment or training plans.
  • May help determine an individuals risk of injury in return to sport, activity or in pre-screening based on research data.

  • Directions of movement in the SEBT have also been shown to have a correlation with certain muscle recruitment (Earl et al 2016).

The importance of the SEBT in identifying risk factors for individuals has been highlighted by research papers namely Gribble et al (2012). as well as Plisky, Rauh, Kaminski (2006) who researched the effects of the SEBT results and lower limb injuries in Basketballers.

Their findings:

  • Females with a decreased standardized composite reach distance were 6.5 times more likely to have a lower extremity injury.

  • Basketball players that have more than a 4cm Right/Left discrepancy for the Anterior reach were 2.5 times more likely to have a lower extremity injury.

  • Faster individuals performed better with greater distances achieved and high similarities between sides than slower individuals. 

  • Following the addition of a 6-week core training, healthy individuals improved SEBT scores (compared to the control group).

How To Perform The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT)?

Using The MAT the therapist or trainer measures the best reach attempts across up to 8 different angulations comparing each limb side to side.

A YBT composite score can also be used by summing the 3 reach distances of the Anterior, Postero Medial, and Postero Lateral reaching and normalizing the results to the lower limb length. Research by Chimera et al 2015 suggested that measurements greater than 90% should be achieved for normal results.

Butler et al 2013 also determined that a composite score below 89.6% increased risk of noncontact lower extremity injury by 3.5 times in a collegiate football athletes.


Are you using The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) with your patients and clients?

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