By wearing a unique weighted back support device and participating in a special exercise program, women over 60 with osteoporosis-caused curvature of the spine improved their balance and experienced diminished back pain, giving researchers at Mayo Clinic a promising therapy to reduce falls among this population.
Falls present a serious risk of injury in the older population. Falls also can lead to permanent lifestyle changes, such as hospitalization, long-term rehabilitation and the inability to function independently, which can cause further declines in health.
Within four weeks in the study, the researchers noted significant changes in balance and gait. They also recorded back extensor strength improvements and significant decrease in back pain. Mayo Clinic researchers present their findings in the July 2005 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
John Murphy | EurekAlert!
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