January 2015

Rate of torque development in the hip differentiates fallers from nonfallers

By P.K. Daniel

Rate of torque development (RTD) in the hip extensor muscles is an outcome that could be key to identifying patients at risk for falling, according to a study epublished in December 2014 by Aging Clinical & Experimental Research.

Researchers from Kent State University in Ohio examined the torque characteristics of the hip extensor muscles in healthy, recreationally active older women with and without a history of falls.

Six women with a history of falls (mean age, 73 years) and nine women without a history of falls (mean age, 71 years) performed two isometric maximal voluntary contractions of the hip extensor muscles. Peak torque and absolute and relative rate of torque development at the early (0–50 ms) and late (100–200 ms) phases of muscle contraction were examined.

Absolute and relative RTD during the early phase of contraction for women with no history of falls were significantly greater than in those who did have such a history. No differences were observed for any variable during the late phases of contraction, nor for peak torque during the early phase.

Source:

Palmer TB, Thiele RM, Williams KB, et al. The identification of fall history using maximal and rapid isometric torque characteristics of the hip extensors in healthy, recreationally active elderly females: a preliminary investigation. Aging Clin Exp Res 2014 Dec 25. [Epub ahead of print]

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