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Effects of Weight-Bearing and Resistance Exercises on Lower Extremity Strength, Postural Stability, and Quality of Life in Postmenopausal Women With Low Bone Mass

Fleisher, Lisa PT, MS1; Trudelle-Jackson, Elaine PT, PhD1; Thompson, Mary PT, PhD, GCS1; Smith, Sue PT, PhD2

Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy: September/December 2011 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 114–127
doi: 10.1097/JWH.0b013e31823b072c
Research Report

Objective: To determine the effects of weight-bearing aerobic (WBA) exercise, resistance strengthening (RS) exercise, and no exercise on strength, postural stability, and quality of life (QOL), and to determine exercise adherence of 2 different exercise programs in postmenopausal women with low bone mass.

Study Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Background: Three risk factors for fall-related fractures in women with low bone mass are decreased strength, poor balance, and low bone mineral density. Investigators have not demonstrated the specific type, intensity, or duration of exercise most beneficial for improving lower extremity strength, postural stability, and QOL in postmenopausal women with low bone mass.

Method and Measures: Twenty-six sedentary post- menopausal women with low bone mass were randomly allocated to 3 groups: WBA (n = 8), RS (n = 9), or control (n = 9). The WBA group performed walking/stepping exercises and the RS group performed 7 lower extremity resistance exercises for 24 sessions over 8 to 12 weeks. The control group participants continued their usual activity for 8 weeks. Lower extremity strength, postural stability, and QOL were measured prior to and at completion of the study.

Results: Statistical tests revealed significantly greater postin- tervention hip extension (P = .001) and flexion (P = .009) strength in the RS group compared with the control group.

Conclusions: Hip extensor strength is important for postural stability and prevention of falls. The current study demonstrated that RS exercises improve hip extension strength, which is important for postural stability.

1Texas Woman's University, School of Physical Therapy, Dallas.

2College of Nursing & Health Professionals, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Copyright © 2011 Section on Women's Health, American Physical Therapy Association
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