The global population is aging – data estimates that the proportion of the population aged 65 years and older will increase to 28% in 2060. With this comes an increased risk of escalating morbidity (people living longer in poor health).  Due to less coordinated gait, poor balance and decreased muscle strength, fall risk is a major health concern in the older population.  Chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) pain in older adults has also been associated with a previous history of falls and an increased occurrence of future falls.  The severity and frequency of chronic MSK pain sites have been associated with reduced balance performance and increased fall risk.  Manual therapy is commonly used for MSK pain and two systematic prior reviews have demonstrated evidence that manual therapy may also improve balance associated with reduction in pain intensity in symptomatic subjects.  The term stability has been used to denote how balance is controlled via a complex integration of information from multiple body systems. Put simply, deficits in balance control are associated with decreased stability.  Clinical tests of stability such as sit-to-stand or single-leg stance can test the neurophysiological mechanisms that maintain balance and give us an idea of a particular patient’s capacity in this sense. 

The objective of this systematic review was to examine the effectiveness of manual therapies for MSK pain on stability (defined for this review as experiencing a fall, self-reported fear of falling, and reduced performance on objective measures of mobility and balance).  Further, the authors intend the results of this review to provide important information for future trials of manual therapy on MSK pain using clinical or objective stability measures…LOG IN OR SUBSCRIBE TO ACCESS THIS REVIEW! 

THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Effects of Manual Therapies on Stability in Patients with Musculoskeletal Pain” 

This paper was published in the Chiropractic & Manual Therapies (2020) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Geriatrics, Core Stability and the 2020 Archive.

elderly stability