I just tried a balancewear vest yesterday, literally yesterday.
I went to a PT clinic where I was able to try the vest for free. The PT places the weights and lets you wear it for as long as you want. I was happy to try since I had no idea if the product would work for me.
I have multiple sclerosis and am starting to have trouble walking. When I round corners I get off balance and I cannot turn my head when walking straight. After wearing the vest I was able to do those things again. I also notice a significant improvement in my foot drop. The vest is incredibly stabilizing.
I would just say don't count it out. The balance wear web site posts licensed PT locations all over the country where you can schedule a free trial.
Well, like most things, it looks too good to be true, which is why I asked. I agree with JJ on the very vague study results.
I suppose if I had a bunch of money to burn, I might try one out. :) But I don't..... and I won't anytime soon. LOL
At lot of snake oil flags waving looking over that site. I won't be spending my money on it, that's for sure.
To be honest i'm aware of many products and balance programs but from my perspective they are typically very expensive and don't often have 'condition specific' research to back up their product/program claims.
The product site mentions the 2009 research but it didn't seem to mention the subsequent 2 research studies they also did in 2014 specifically relating to MS [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24903118] which is a bit strange to me.
Although in one "The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of BBTW on people with MS and healthy controls during quiet standing." and whilst very small (20 MS + 18 NT) it doesn't look like they did get any definitive result, "suggesting that BBTW may help optimize movement variability in people with MS" basically because of individual variables of the pwMS and it's still just a maybe....
In MS there is research regarding the benefits of 'individually tailored balance exercises', basically when tailored it can significantly improve their disability scores [one example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25392337]
What i thought was questionable is a similar issue to anything that claims it 'may help' with various medical conditions, they don't generally explain exact condition specific pros and cons or differentiate product aspects to incorporate the different or degenerative elements on the individual for any of these very different medical conditions that cause balance issues.
Hmmmmm I don't think you would get more or equal benefit from a balance vest product, than you would if you did an individualised physiotherapy program instead.....
A couple of my friends with ataxia have balance vests and swear by them. They've both had them professionally fitted so the weights are placed in exactly the right places.