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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


AVEIRO, MC et al. Influence of a physical training program on muscle strength, balance and gait velocity among women with osteoporosis. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2006, vol.10, n.4, pp.441-448. ISSN 1413-3555.

OBJECTIVES: The trend towards increased life expectancy will certainly lead to increases in morbidity and mortality relating to osteoporosis. Because of the lack of well defined protocols on the intensity and frequency of easily performed physical exercises for Brazilian women, this study proposed to analyze the effects of a training program for ankle muscle strength, balance performance and gait velocity among women with a densitometric diagnosis of osteoporosis. METHODS: Twelve female volunteers (age 68.7 ± 2.7 years) underwent physical evaluation and subsequent reevaluation after twelve weeks. The physical activity program was guided by a physical therapist, who conducted 60-minute sessions, three times a week for twelve weeks. Each training session included some stretching exercises, strengthening exercises for the ankle dorsiflexor and plantar-flexor muscles, with 50% of 10-repetition maximum (10-RM), and balance training. RESULTS: The variables analyzed regarding balance index, gait velocity and muscle strength presented significant improvement (p < 0.05), as shown by the Wilcoxon non-parametric test. CONCLUSION: After the 12-week exercise program, the participants presented benefits in terms of their fitness. The results demonstrate that the training had a role in improving the condition of this group of patients, thus suggesting that this program was effective, easy to implement and safe for Brazilian women with osteoporosis. Therefore, it can be seen that physical activity programs are efficient in improving balance performance, gait velocity and ankle muscle strength among elderly women with osteoporosis.

Keywords : balance; physical training; gait velocity; muscle strength; osteoporosis.

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