Relationships between hamstring morphological characteristics and postural balance in elderly men

Ty B. Palmer, Ahalee C. Farrow, Bailey M. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The link between hamstring morphology and postural balance performance in older adults is not well understood. This study aimed to examine the relationships between hamstring morphological characteristics of muscle size (cross-sectional area [CSA]) and quality (echo intensity [EI]) and postural balance with the eyes open and closed in elderly men. Methods: Nineteen healthy elderly men (age= 73±4 years) participated in this study. Muscle CSA and EI were determined from ultrasound scans of the hamstrings. Postural balance was assessed with the eyes open and closed using a commercially designed balance testing device, which provides a measurement of static stability based on the sway index. Results: The sway index with eyes closed was significantly related to muscle EI (r=0.474; P=0.040) but not CSA (r=0.021; P=0.932). The sway index with eyes open was not related to muscle CSA (r=-0.036; P=0.883) or EI (r=-0.079; P=0.747). Conclusions: The significant relationship observed between the sway index with eyes closed and muscle EI suggests that hamstring muscle quality may be a characteristic relevant to postural balance in the absence of visual feedback. These findings may provide important insight regarding the morphological mechanisms involved in maintaining balance and in the development of proper training programs aimed at improving postural stability in older individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions
Volume20
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Cross-Sectional Area
  • Echo Intensity
  • Falls Risk
  • Ultrasound
  • Visual Feedback

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