Balance and Posture in the Elderly: An Analysis of a Sensorimotor Rehabilitation Protocol
Regular training programs are a concrete means to prevent and/or reduce functional decline due to aging. A multisensory training approach seems to obtain better results in the elderly with regard to both balance and quality of life. Forty subjects (age 65+/-10 years, height 165+/-4 cm, weight 73.0+/-4.6 kg) were randomized into two groups (GrHu and GrCl). Participants in the GrHu group received 3 months of balance and postural training, 3 sessions per week, with the use of a multisensory training approach. Those in the GrCl group received 3 months of training with a classical rehabilitation protocol that included isotonic training for the lower limbs and spine. With regard to walking, there was an improvement in step symmetry for participants in the GrHu group compared to baseline (0.93+/-0.09 vs. 0.84+/-0.1; p<0.05). Further, all subjects in the GrHu group showed a significant reduction in the energy used during a 4-min walk. Analysis of stabilometry data also showed a significant improvement in balance for those in the GrHu group, which was independent of age or gender. The multisensory training approach yields an improvement of balance in the elderly, which reduces the risk of falls. The observed improvement is significantly greater than that seen with the classical training program.