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Influence of Aquatic and Weight-Bearing Exercises on Quantitative Ultrasound Variables in Postmenopausal Women

Ay, Alev MD; Yurtkuran, Merih MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: January 2005 - Volume 84 - Issue 1 - p 52-61
doi: 10.1097/01.PHM.0000146500.85850.BE
Research Article: Osteoporosis
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Ay A, Yurtkuran M: Influence of aquatic and weight-bearing exercises on quantitative ultrasound variables in postmenopausal women. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2005;84:52–61.

Objective: In this prospective, controlled study, the effects of weight bearing and aquatic exercises on the calcaneal ultrasonic scores of postmenopausal sedentary women was investigated.

Design: A total of 62 postmenopausal sedentary women (mean age, 54.1 ± 7 yrs) with broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) T-score variables less than −1 were admitted to Atatürk Balneotherapy and Rehabilitation Center and randomized into aquatic exercise (n = 21), weight-bearing exercise (n = 21), and control (n = 20) groups. The subjects were told to perform the aerobic exercises according to the Borg scale. Quantitative ultrasound variables, BUA, and speed of ultrasound were evaluated after the 6-mo training study.

Results: Calcaneal BUA increased in aquatic exercise and weight-bearing exercise groups by 3.1% and 4.2% (P < 0.05, P < 0.05) respectively. There was a decrease in BUA by 1.3% in the control group (P > 0.05). Speed of ultrasound did not change in the aquatic exercise, weight-bearing exercise, or the control groups. There were no statistically significant differences between the exercise groups for BUA and speed of ultrasound. The percentage changes in the aquatic exercise and weight-bearing exercise groups were statistically significant when compared with the control group for BUA (P < 0.01, P < 0.01) and speed of ultrasound (P < 0.05, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Although weight-bearing physical activity is known to be superior to non–weight-bearing activity to increase the bone mass, our present evidence shows that aquatic and weight-bearing exercises both can increase calcaneal BUA.

From the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Uludağ University Atatürk Balneotherapy and Rehabilitation Center, Kükürtlü, Bursa, Turkey.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Alev Ay, MD, Uludağ Üniversitesi Atatürk Rehabilitasyon Uygulama ve Araştırma Merkezi, Kükürtlü Kaplıcaları, PK:16080, Bursa, Turkey.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.