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Braz. J. Phys. Ther. 2016; 20: 502-509
10.1590/bjpt-rbf.2014.0183 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/bjpt-rbf.2014.0183
Abstract:Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a common musculoskeletal condition among elders and is associated with falls. However, the underlying biological risk factors for falling among elders with LBP has been poorly investigated. The Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA) is a validated fall-risk assessment tool that involves the direct assessment of sensorimotor abilities and may contribute to the understanding of risk factors for falls among elders with LBP. Objective: To assess fall risk using the PPA in elders with and without LBP. Method: This is an observational, comparative, cross-sectional study with elders aged ≥65 years. The present study was conducted with a subsample of participants from the Back Complaints in the Elders (BACE) - Brazil study. Fall risk was assessed using the PPA, which contains five tests: visual contrast sensitivity, hand reaction time, quadriceps strength, lower limb proprioception, and postural sway. Results: Study participants included 104 individuals with average age of 72.3 (SD=4.0) years, divided into two groups: GI) 52 participants with LBP; GII) 52 participants without LBP. The participants with LBP had a significantly higher fall risk (1.10 95% CI 0.72 to 1.48), greater postural sway (49.78 95% CI 13.54 to 86.01), longer reaction time (58.95 95% CI 33.24 to 84.65), and lower quadriceps strength (–4.42 95% CI –8.24 to –0.59) compared to asymptomatic participants. There was no significant difference for vision and proprioception tests between LBP and non-LBP participants. Conclusion: Elders with LBP have greater risk for falls than those without LBP. Our results suggest fall-risk screening may be sensible in elders with LBP.
Keywords:low back pain, elders, risk of falls, falls, physiological profile assessment, physical therapy.
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