The identification of fall history using maximal and rapid isometric torque characteristics of the hip extensors in healthy, recreationally active elderly females: A preliminary investigation

Ty B. Palmer, Ryan M. Thiele, Katherine B. Williams, Bailey M. Adams, Kazuma Akehi, Douglas B. Smith, Brennan J. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and aims: Maximal and rapid torque characteristics of the hip extensor muscles play an important role in fall prevention and other balance-related performances; however, few studies have investigated the ability of these variables at identifying fall-history status in healthy, recreationally active elderly adults. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of maximal and rapid isometric torque characteristics of the hip extensor muscles to differentiate between healthy, recreationally active elderly females with (fallers) and without (non-fallers) a history a falls. Methods: Six elderly female fallers (mean ± SD: age = 73 ± 7 year; mass = 68 ± 16 kg; height = 160 ± 5 cm) and nine elderly female non-fallers (age = 71 ± 7 year; mass = 66 ± 16 kg; height = 157 ± 6 cm) performed two isometric maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) of the hip extensor muscles. Peak torque (PT) and absolute and relative rate of torque development (RTD) at the early (0–50 ms) and late (100–200 ms) phases of muscle contraction were examined during each MVC. Results: Absolute and relative RTD at 0–50 ms were greater (P = 0.039 and 0.011, respectively) in the non-fallers compared to the fallers. However, no group-related differences (P = 0.160–0.573) were observed for PT nor absolute and relative RTD at 100–200 ms. Conclusions: Early rapid strength production of the hip extensor muscles may be a sensitive and effective measure for discriminating between elderly females of different fall histories. These findings may provide important insight regarding implications for the assessment of fall risk and in the development of proper training programs aimed at minimizing the occurrence of falls and other balance-related injuries in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 24 2015

Keywords

  • Hamstrings
  • Hip extension
  • Peak torque
  • Rate of torque development
  • Strength testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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