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J Bone Miner Metab. 2010;28(1):82-7. doi: 10.1007/s00774-009-0107-1. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Relationships between falls, spinal curvature, spinal mobility and back extensor strength in elderly people.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Akita University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Hondo, Akita 010-8543, Japan.


Spinal mobility and back extensor strength (BES) are important in determining quality of life (QOL) for elderly people. However, the impact of spinal factors on falls remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to clarify spinal factors related to falls in elderly people, including deformity of spinal curvature, spinal mobility and BES. Subjects comprised 92 elderly people divided into 3 groups: subjects without a history of falls or fear of falls (Non-falls group, n = 40); subjects with a history of fear of falls or requiring any support when walking (Fear of falls group, n = 36); and subjects with a history of falls (Falls group, n = 16). Kyphotic angles and mobility of the thoracic and/or lumbar spine, and spinal inclination were measured using a computer-assisted device. Postural imbalance was evaluated using a computerized stabilometer. Isometric BES was also measured. Angle of lumbar kyphosis, spinal inclination, and postural imbalance were significantly higher in the Falls group (p < 0.05) compared to those in the Non-falls group. Mobility of the lumbar spine and BES were significantly lower in the Falls group (p < 0.05) than in the Non-falls group. Multiple logistic regression analysis after adjusting for age, gender, height, and body weight showed grip strength (p = 0.0028), BES (p = 0.0052), lumbar kyphosis (p = 0.0057), spinal inclination (p = 0.0378), mobility of lumbar spine (0.027), and mobility of spinal inclination (p = 0.0282) were significantly associated with presence/absence of falls in elderly individuals.

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