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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 June;59(6):1011-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08653-X

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The influence of ageing and diabetic peripheral neuropathy on posture sway, tremor, and the time to achieve balance equilibrium

Jerrold PETROFSKY 1, Michael LAYMON 1, Haneul LEE 2

1 School of Physical Therapy, Touro University Nevada, Henderson, NV, USA; 2 Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Gachon University, Incheon, South Korea



BACKGROUND: It is well recognized that ageing and diabetes are associated with reduced balance and impaired gait. However, one important factor may be not just balance, but how long it takes to achieve balance equilibrium after a balance challenge. This study examined the relationship between balance, tremor, and time to achieve balance after a challenge to stability in young and old individuals without and without diabetes.
METHODS: Twenty-four of the subjects were young controls, 22 were older controls, 23 were individuals with diabetes, and 21 were young people with diabetes. Posture sway, tremor, and time to achieve stability were assessed on a force plate during 8 progressively challenging balance tasks.
RESULTS: For postural sway, tremor and time to reach postural stability, there was a significant difference in all groups with the increased balance challenge of the 8 tests (P<0.01). However, ageing and diabetes made balance, tremor and time to reach stability worse. In general, the young group with diabetes, for example, had similar responses to the old group without diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS: In the subjects with diabetes, balance was poorer than the non-diabetes groups. The young subjects with diabetes showed similar results to the older subjects without diabetes. Diabetes subjects had more muscle tremor and a slower response time of the body to a balance challenge. This may account for increased falls in individuals with diabetes.


KEY WORDS: Postural balance; Diabetes; Tremor

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