Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Decreased muscle strength predicts functional impairments in older adults

Date:
February 1, 2010
Source:
American Physical Therapy Association
Summary:
Decreased muscle strength is associated with difficulty in performing functional activities such as stooping, crouching or kneeling in older adults, according to an observational study. Researchers found that adults with SCK difficulty had significant decreases in adjusted strength measurements of trunk extensor, knee extensor and ankle flexion muscles.

Decreased muscle strength is associated with difficulty in performing functional activities such as stooping, crouching, or kneeling (SCK) in older adults, according to an observational study published in the January issue of Physical Therapy, (PTJ) the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). These researchers found that adults with SCK difficulty had significant decreases in adjusted strength measurements of trunk extensor, knee extensor, and ankle flexion muscles.

Concluding that measurements of strength predict SCK difficulty, their study sets the stage for research exploring whether rehabilitation programs that focus on training specific muscle groups are effective in improving functional performance and whether improvements in functional performance reduces falls in older adults.

Bending down and kneeling are fundamental tasks of daily living. Other researchers have suggested that older adults with SCK difficulty are more likely to have limitations in other lower-body functional tasks, such as lifting and prolonged standing. "As with standing up from a chair, stooping, crouching, and kneeling movements require coordination of the whole-body center of mass over a wide range of postures in order to prevent a loss of balance or fall," said physical therapist researcher and APTA member Allon Goldberg, PT, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Health Care Sciences, Program in Physical Therapy, Mobility Research Laboratory, at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

More research is needed, but it is reasonable to predict that a physical therapy program to improve strength in older adults who have difficulty performing basic stooping, crouching, or kneeling movements could lead to improvements in performing these activities, and these improvements could be associated with reduced number of falls." The study was conducted when Goldberg was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Co-authors of the study are Manuel Hernandez, MS (lead author), and Neil Alexander, MD, both at the University of Michigan.

The study's purpose was to compare trunk and lower-extremity muscle strength differences in older adults who had difficulty with stooping, crouching, or kneeling with older adults who did not have these difficulties. The study analyzed 48 community-dwelling older adults, over age 65, with and without self-reported SCK difficulty. Participants rated their ability to stoop, crouch, or kneel according to a 5-point difficulty scale and were tested on balance, strength, and fall-related measures.

Researchers hypothesized that lower-extremity strength would be significantly decreased in older adults who have trouble stooping, crouching, or kneeling and that measures of distal strength would be the main predictors of these issues in patients. Results suggest that older adults who reported trouble with basic stooping, crouching, or kneeling also had decreased strength in their legs. Researchers also discovered a relationship between SCK difficulty and both the level of strength and the ability to maintain proper balance. Findings suggest that in older adults, a major contributor to SCK difficulty is the strength of the distal leg musculature, which may provide a common link to balance. Future investigation will examine how other trunk and lower-extremity muscle strength may be related to these daily tasks.

"The results of this study may have important implications for clinicians working to reduce falls risk in older adults," Goldberg explained. "Rehabilitation or intervention programs aimed at addressing deficits in self-reported performance in stooping, crouching, or kneeling should focus on improving distal strength. Although addressing strength deficits is very important, those with stooping, crouching, or kneeling difficulty may also benefit from comprehensive programs by physical therapists that address balance confidence, coordination, leg joint limitations such as stiffness and pain, and sensory capacities."

Physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility -- in many cases without expensive surgery or the side effects of prescription medications. APTA represents more than 74,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Its purpose is to improve the health and quality of life of individuals through the advancement of physical therapist practice, education, and research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physical Therapy Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Physical Therapy Association. "Decreased muscle strength predicts functional impairments in older adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201171750.htm>.
American Physical Therapy Association. (2010, February 1). Decreased muscle strength predicts functional impairments in older adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201171750.htm
American Physical Therapy Association. "Decreased muscle strength predicts functional impairments in older adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201171750.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins