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Hip abductor weakness and balance control in older adults

How do hip abductor strength and proprioception affect balance control in older adults?

About 30% of older adults fall at least once per year, and balance impairment in the mediolateral direction is suggested to be an important reason for such falls. Hip abductor muscles are involved in mediolateral balance control, while their strength decreases with aging. Therefore, in this study, we investigated whether older adults with higher hip abductor muscle strength and more accurate hip abductor proprioception have better balance control in the mediolateral direction.

These findings indicate that hip abductor muscles are important for mediolateral balance control in older adults and hip abductor dysfunction in terms of muscle strength and proprioception may lead to impaired balance control and higher risk of falling in this population. Therefore, improving hip abductor neuromuscular capacity through rehabilitation programs might improve balance control and subsequently decrease fall risk, especially in older adults with impaired hip abductor muscles (e.g., due to stroke, hip osteoarthritis and hip surgery).

> From: Arvin et al., Clin Biomech 37 (2016-10-07 07:40:01) 27-33 . All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the online summary.

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