Interesting article from the Thera Band Academy
Thera-Band exercise reduces falls and improves quality of life in women with osteoporosis
Persons with osteoporosis are at higher risk of fracture after a fall. It’s well known that exercise is an important aspect of managing osteoporosis, yet there are few studies evaluating the effects of balance exercises on actually preventing falls in women with osteoporosis. The Academy Blog recently featured a study showing that elastic resistance training can reduce the risk factors associated with falls, but did not examine actual fall rates.
Researchers in Brazil investigated the effects of a year-long balance training program on quality of life, balance, and falls in older women with osteoporosis. The women were randomly assigned to an exercise group or control group. Those in the exercise group performed a balance training program 1 hour per week, supplemented with home exercises for 12 months. The program consisted of 15 minutes of warm-up and stretching exercises, 15 minutes of walking, and 30 minutes of dynamic and static balance training exercises. The same exercises were repeated at home 3 times a week for 30 minutes. The researchers used a previously published exercise protocol that showed a significant decrease in falls in Japanese older adults. The exercises in the group and at home included moderate resistance training with dumbbells and Thera-Band exercise bands.
After 12 months, the exercise group significantly improved in balance and their quality of life scores compared to the control group, as well as significantly reduced their fall rates (50% reduction in exercise group compared to 26% reduction in control group). In conclusion, a 12-month exercise program including Thera-Band elastic resistance can significantly decrease falls and improve quality of life in older women with osteoporosis.
REFERENCE: Madureira MM, et al. A 12-month randomized controlled trial of balance training in elderly women with osteoporosis: improvement of quality of life. Maturitas. 2010 Jun;66(2):206-11. Epub 2010 Apr 14.
Osteoporosis exercise program with elastic resistance can reduce fall risk factors
Osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans and is characterized by low bone density. Persons with low bone density are at higher risk of fractures after a fall. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends balance training as part of an exercise program for persons with osteoporosis.
Researchers in Brazil evaluated the effectiveness of an eight-week exercise program on balance and strength in women with osteoporosis. 33 subjects were randomly assigned to either the exercise or control group. All subjects were tested before and after the program for isokinetic leg strength and postural stability using a Neurocom Balance Master.
The exercise group performed a 10-minute warm-up followed by 20 minutes of balance training and 30 minutes of lower extremity strengthening exercises using ankle cuff weights and elastic bands.
After the 8-week program, the exercising group significantly improved their balance and leg strength compared to the control group. Adherence was excellent at 82%. While these results are promising, a longer-term follow-up would be valuable in evaluating the program’s effectiveness at preventing falls and fractures.
According to the National Osteopororis Foundation, osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. These broken bones occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.
Osteoporosis affects an estimated 44 million Americans, or 55 percent of the people 50 years of age and older. While it is more common in thin, post-menopausal Caucasian and Asian women, everyone is at risk. It also occurs in premenopausal women, men, and people of different ages, body types and ethnic origin.
Management of osteoporsis includes exercise, medication and diet. Exercise should be resistive, site-specific and weightbearing. The Thera-Band Academy provides several exercise resources for persons with osteoporosis.