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, 30 (2), 49-52

Effect of a Static Calf Muscle-Tendon Unit Stretching Program on Ankle Dorsiflexion Range of Motion of Older Women

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Effect of a Static Calf Muscle-Tendon Unit Stretching Program on Ankle Dorsiflexion Range of Motion of Older Women

Eric Johnson et al. J Geriatr Phys Ther.

Abstract

Background and purpose: While there has been considerable research on stretching, a paucity of research has focused on stretching of the calf muscle-tendon unit (MTU) in older women. Because limited ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) is associated with gait abnormalities and increases the risk of falls in the elderly, we investigated the effect of static stretching on flexibility of the calf MTU of healthy elderly adults.

Methods: Twenty healthy female volunteers, 76 to 91 years of age, were recruited from Linda Valley Villa, an independent living center. Subjects performed a static stretching program 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Passive ankle dorsiflexion ROM was taken prior to beginning the stretching program and 3 days after the last stretching day.

Results: Mean increase in passive ankle dorsiflexion ROM was 12.3 degrees (SD= 4.4 degrees ) (p < .001).

Conclusion: A 6-week stretching program is capable of provoking a significant increase in ankle dorsiflexion ROM for elderly women.

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