Age-related deficit in dynamic stability control after forward falls is affected by muscle strength and tendon stiffness

Publikationen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


  • Kiros Karamanidis
  • Adamantios Arampatzis
  • Lida Mademli



The purpose of the work was to determine whether the age-related muscle weakness diminishes older adults' ability to use mechanisms responsible for maintaining dynamic stability after forward falls. Nine older and nine younger adults participated in this study. To analyse the capacities of the leg-extensor muscle-tendon units, all subjects performed isometric maximal voluntary plantarflexion and knee extension contractions on a dynamometer. The elongation of the gastrocnemius medialis and the vastus lateralis tendon and aponeuroses during isometric contraction was examined by ultrasonography. Recovery behaviour was determined after a sudden fall from two forward-inclined lean angles. Compared to older adults, younger adults had higher muscle strength and tendon stiffness. Younger adults created a higher margin of stability compared to older, independent of perturbation intensity. The main mechanism improving the margin of dynamic stability was the increase of the base of support. The results, further, demonstrated that the locomotion strategy employed before touchdown affects the stability of the stance phase and that muscle strength and tendon stiffness contributed significantly to stability control. We concluded that, to reduce the risk of falls, older individuals may benefit from muscle-tendon unit strengthening programs as well as from interventions exercising the mechanisms responsible for dynamic stability.

ZeitschriftJournal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology
Seiten (von - bis)980-989
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.12.2008

ID: 20618


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