Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exercise program and special weighted back support improves balance in elderly

06.07.2005


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.


"Most studies of falls address the effects of sedatives, weakness of the lower extremity muscles and neuromuscular diseases," says Mehrsheed Sinaki, M.D., of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. "What we wanted to see in this study was the effects of intervention to shift the center of gravity, and improve back strength and gait."

The Mayo Clinic researchers studied women in community-dwelling settings over age 60. Past studies have shown that community-dwelling people have a higher risk of falls and fractures than persons whose mobility is severely restricted. Twelve women in the study suffered from kyphosis, a progressive curvature of the spine that includes severe, progressive muscle weakness. Kyphosis causes a stooping posture. Their risk of falls and balance were studied and compared with a group of 13 women without this condition.

A fall is a biomechanical event, in that an external force -- gravity -- destabilizes the body’s alignment of the torso over the legs. A fall occurs when the center of gravity of the person’s trunk moves outside the base of support provided by the feet against the floor. The center of gravity is the imaginary point at which all the weight of the torso can be considered concentrated. If the base moves outside the base of support, a fall will occur.

At the start of the four-week comparison period, the two groups exhibited significant differences, but as the women with curvature of the spine continued the program, they showed improvements in balance, gait and back pain. The women used a weighted kypho-orthosis (WKO), a specially weighted back support device that centers its weight on the posterior of the spine and helps the person center her body better over her legs. It can weigh between 1.75 and 2.5 pounds, centered below the shoulder blades. A patient’s doctor determines the best weighting and placement of the device.

Along with Dr. Sinaki, the principal investigator, Mayo Clinic researchers contributing to this study included Robert Brey, Ph.D., Christine Hughes, Dirk Larson and Kenton Kaufman, Ph.D.

In an editorial in the July Proceedings, Allan Tencer, Ph.D., of the Department of Orthopedics at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, writes that the Mayo Clinic study "provides an excellent example of how an understanding of basic biomechanics can serve as a foundation for improving patient care."

Further research is now needed to determine the feasibility of using this intervention in large populations of patients with kyphosis, says Dr. Tencer.

"The report validates using the WKO and a dynamic exercise program to improve biomechanics in persons with kyphosis," says Dr. Tencer. "This, in turn, can reduce the possibility of the person falling and prevent the downstream, potentially life-altering consequences of falling."

John Murphy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>