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Aging Clin Exp Res. 2015 Dec;27(6):857-63. doi: 10.1007/s40520-015-0356-x. Epub 2015 Apr 8.

Focal muscle vibration as a possible intervention to prevent falls in elderly women: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Division, Umberto I Hospital, Sapienza University, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Rome, Italy. clacelletti@gmail.com.
2
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.
3
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Division, Umberto I Hospital, Sapienza University, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Rome, Italy.
4
Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.
5
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.
6
Institute of Human Physiology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUNDS:

Different and new approaches have been proposed to prevent the risk of falling of elderly people, particularly women.

AIMS:

This study investigates the possibility that a new protocol based on the focal mechanical muscle vibration may reduce the risk of falling of elderly women.

METHODS:

A pragmatic randomized controlled triple-blind trial with a 6-month follow-up after intervention randomized 350 women (mean age 73.4 years + 3.11), members of local senior citizen centers in Rome, into two groups: vibrated group (VG) and control group (CG). For VG participants a mechanical vibration (lasting 10 min) was focally applied on voluntary contracted quadriceps muscles, three times a day during three consecutive days. CG subjects received a placebo vibratory stimulation. Subjects were tested immediately before (T0) and 30 (T1) and 180 (T2) days after the intervention with the Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment (POMA) test. All subjects were asked not to change their lifestyle during the study. CG underwent sham vibratory treatment.

RESULTS:

While CG did not show any statistically significant change of POMA at T1 and T2, VG revealed significant differences. At T2, ≈47% of the subjects who completed the study obtained the full score on the POMA test and ≈59% reached the full POMA score.

CONCLUSIONS:

The new protocol seems to be promising in reducing the risk of falling of elderly subjects.

KEYWORDS:

Fall; Muscle vibration; Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment; Postural instability; Rehabilitation; Tinetti test

PMID:
25850540
DOI:
10.1007/s40520-015-0356-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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