Using visual feedback in rehabilitation of older adults

...is it an interesting tool to improve balance and functional strength?

The number of elderly increases worldwide and involves various consequences in terms of dependence. While the various body functions get less effective, muscle strength and balance control are key issues for older people as their deterioration, although common, may lead to alteration of walking, reduced daily activities or even falls (which, we know, are the beginning of a vicious circle).

Improving muscle strength as well as both static and dynamic balance is recommended in older people for prevention of falls and a better quality of life. Previous studies also highlighted the importance of training postural control including with visual feedback as this specific tool facilitates efficient postural responses and balance skills (correct perception of motor error and adjustment of responses).

A custom-made visual feedback device was used in the present study while training balance standing on one leg. The purpose of this intervention was to analyse the effects of visual feedback training on balance and functional lower-extremity strength in older adults. Although static and dynamic balance was improved compared to the control group, balance confidence and strength improvements were not considered significant.


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