Document Type : Original Article
Department of Biomechanics, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
Department of Sports Injuries and Corrective Exercises, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
Introduction:Falling is one of the most important health issues among the elderly that can lead to irreparable injuries. Previous studies suggest that exaggerated hip muscle tightness is a common characteristic of the fallers. The present research aimed to analyze the effects of one stretching session on the falling risk of older adults.
Methods: Fifteen healthy elderly men voluntarily participated in this research. They randomly divided into two control and experimental group with equivalent physical characteristics (n=25 in each group). The participants were excluded if they had problems that may affect their walking ability. This study was quasi-experimental research. Kinematic gait analysis was executed by motion analysis system previous (PRE) and instantly following (POST) a set of characteristic static-stretching training for the hip flexor muscles on both limbs. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 22.
Results:The results of our study demonstrated a significant increase in walking speed and step length (P < 0.05) following one session of static-stretching training. Also, there was a significant decrease in double support time during the stance phase of walking (P < 0.05), proposing developed stability and mobility. The anterior-posterior pelvis tilt was also increased significantly in post-test in comparison with pre-test (P < 0.05). Some of the other gait parameters like toe clearance inhabited unchanged (P > 0.05) and the stable pattern of segmental angular velocities was suggested to analyze the stability of the unaltered gait parameters.
Conclusion: The findings propose that stretching training, applied on a systematic basis (e.g. daily exercises), result in gait adaptations which can be considered as indicative of decreased the risk of fall.