Investigating the effectiveness of postural muscle electrostimulation and static posturography feedback exercises in elders with balance disorder

Alptekin K., Karan A., Diracoglu D., YILDIZ ÖZER A., BAŞKENT A., Eskiyurt N.

Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, vol.29, no.1, pp.151-159, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.3233/bmr-150611
  • Journal Name: Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.151-159
  • Keywords: Balance disturbance, electrostimulation of postural muscles, static posturography, balance exercises, quality of life
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


BACKGROUND: Deterioration associated with aging in the erect posture and balance to change the location of the center increased the rate of fall in older age is one of the reasons. Loss of muscle strength is one of the major factors affecting the posture. In this prospective, randomized and controlled study, it was aimed to investigate the effectiveness of strengthening postural muscles through electrostimulation or by applying biofeedback exercises with static posturography in patients aged 60 years and over with balance disorder. METHODS: Patients aged between 60-80 years, who applied to Istanbul Faculty of Medicine Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department outpatient clinic and had been diagnosed with balance disorder using the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, were included. 250 patients were screened, from them 67 patients were enrolled and 57 of them completed the study. Patients were randomized to three groups . The patients in Tetrax ®group (TG) group (n:18) participated in a 15-minute exercise with Tetrax ®which consisted of 15 minutes exercise session 3 times weekly for 4 weeks. The patients in EG group (n:19) received an electrostimulation program of postural muscles of 40 minutes per session 3 times weekly for 4 weeks. Patients in the control group (n:20) did 6-week balance exercises which were performed by other groups as well. 48 out of 57 patients attended the 6th-month control. As determinants of balance status Timed Up and Go Test (TUG), Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and Fall Index measured by Tetrax ®were calculated at baseline, 1-month and 6-month follw up assesments. The patient's quality of life was assesed by Turkish version of World Health Organisation Quality of Life Questionnaire in Older Adults (WHOQOL-OLD.TR) at baseline and 6-month follow up assesments. RESULTS: TUG values in both EG and TG decreased significantly between baseline assesment and 1-month (mean differences for TG: -4,00 ± 1,309 and EG -2,588 ± 1,839 p = 0,002 for the each of groups) and baseline assesment and 6-month (mean differences for TG: -2,933±1,223 and EG -2,058 ± 1,477 p = 0,003 for the each of groups). A significant increase was determined in BBS values between baseline and 1-month (mean differences for TG: 4.000 ± 2,360 and EG: 3,529 ± 2,672 p = 0,031 for the each of groups). Fall Index (FI) measured by Tetrax ®decreased between baseline assesment and 1-month (p = 0,185), and 6-month (p = 0,086) respectively, also between 1-month and 6-month follow up assesments (p = 0,627), but all of them were not significant changes. In all three groups the quality of life (p = 0,951) improved. Exercises conducted with Tetrax ®were more effective than electrostimulation of postural muscles in increasing TUG values and decreasing BBS values. CONCLUSIONS: Even though applying electrostimulation to postural muscles affected patients positively compared to pretreatment, exercises performed with Tetrax ®were more effective than the electrostimulation protocol to postural muscles in reducing balance disorder and this well-being continued even in the 6th month.