Risk of Fall & Proprioception
Reference:Mart�nez-Amat A, et al Effects of a 12-week proprioception training program on postural stability, gait and balance in older adults: A Controlled Clinical Trial. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Nov 30.
Is proprioceptive training beneficial to seniors in a community dwelling setting? Do exercises actually improve static and dynamic balance? Can exercises help reduce the risk of falling?
This study divided seniors (age 61-90) into two groups:
Group 1: Received 50-minutes of proprioception training twice a week for 12 weeks (using various BOSU and Swiss ball exercises)
Group 2: Control, no specific exercises
After 12 weeks only the seniors who received the proprioception training program demonstrated improvements in postural stability, static and dynamic balance, which may lead to improvements in gait and reduce the risk of falls.
Clinical Relevance: Tell your patients with osteoporosis that balance training at just twice a week helps improve balance after 3 months. Tell them there is no calcium supplement or pill that can prevent a fall, but exercises can.
Clinical application: I must admit I don’t make many of my osteoporotic elderly patients stand on BOSU or sit on Swiss balls …too risky for my liking.
A safe and simple exercise I often teach my senior patients is to stand in front the kitchen counter, hold the countertop and attempt to stand on one leg for up to 10 seconds.
If they feel confident they may then let the counter go.
If they really want a challenge, they may also close their eyes. With this simple exercise the single leg balance test often improves within 3 months.
Posted on: March 23, 2013