Effect of blood-flow restriction exercise on falls and fall related risk factors in older adults 60 years or above: A systematic review

Caroline Gronlund, Kirstine S. Christoffersen, Katja Thomsen, Tahir Masud, Ditte B. Jepsen, Jesper Ryg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

This systematic review investigated the effect of low-load resistance training combined with blood-flow restriction (LL-BFR) on falls in older adults ≥60 years of age. The databases Embase, Medline, and Cochrane Library were searched from inception to October 1st, 2019 and reference lists of retrieved publications. Main outcomes were fall rates or proportion of fallers. Additional outcomes were physical performance, lower extremity muscle strength or function, and balance. Mean difference ±SD on falls and fall related outcomes were reported and Cochrane Collaboration’s risk of bias tool was used to evaluate quality of evidence. Eight RCT-studies met the inclusion criteria. None reported falls data. Assessing physical performance tests (n=12), 8/12 of the LL-BFR groups showed a significant within-group improvement and 5/12 significant between-group effects comparing LL-BFR to respective controls. For muscle strength tests (n=16), 9/16 showed significant positive within-group improvement and 3/16 significant between-group effects. One study reported data on balance with conflicting results. In conclusion, LL-BFR might increase physical performance and muscle strength in older adults ≥60 years of age. None of the included studies investigated the effect on falls. Larger adequately powered studies are required before introducing LL-BFR as an alternative exercise modality to decrease fall risk.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions
Volume20
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)513-525
ISSN1108-7161
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Blood-flow Restriction
  • Falls
  • Low-Load Resistance Training
  • Older
  • Physical Performance

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