A patellar bandage improves mobility but not static balance in elderly female fallers
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Background: The deterioration in the somatosensory and motor systems observed with increasing age can cause balance problems. Studies have shown that the use of infrapatellar bandages can enhance proprioception and improve postural balance. Aims: To evaluate the effect of an infrapatellar bandage on static balance and mobility in elderly female fallers and non-fallers. Methods: Forty older women (20 fallers and 20 non-fallers) were evaluated. Mobility (Timed Up and Go test) and balance (force platform) were measured in the presence and absence of additional sensory information (elastic infrapatellar bandage). Results: Mobility differed in fallers (p = 0.0001), but not in non-fallers (p = 0.27), when the patellar bandage was applied. Additional sensory information did not improve static balance in either group (p > 0.05), but a trend towards improvement was observed in fallers. Conclusion: Additional sensory input from an infrapatellar bandage improves mobility but not bipedal stance in elderly fallers.