Range of motion of ankle and the simultaneous tasks paradigm during gait in the community-dwelling elderly
Decreased range of motion (ROM) of the ankle and dorsiflexor strength due to the aging process has been associated with increased risk of trips and falls. However, the impact of dual-task on the ankle ROM in elderly is not clear. It was our objective to evaluate the ankle ROM in community elderly during usual gait and two simultaneous task conditions (functional and cognitive). Thirty-two community elderly (66.8 ± 4.7 years) of both sexes, non-fallers, who had independent walking were recruited. The dorsiflexion and plantar flexion of the ankle were assessed in three situations: usual gait, gait with functional task and gait with cognitive task, using 8 cameras Qualisys Pro-reflex Oqus 300®. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) were applied and comparisons were made by Newman-Keuls using SPSS (version 16.0) adopting a significance level of 5% (p£ 0.05). There were no differences among tasks (p> 0.05) in the dorsiflexion and plantar flexion in the elderly, however, during the usual gait the dorsiflexion ROM of the elderly was lower than the normative values described in literature. The performance of tasks during walking have no influence on ankle ROM in non-fallers community-elderly. However, more studies including older adults who have previously fallen are necessary.
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