[Purpose] We compared the differences in individual toe flexor muscle strength and balancing ability between elderly fallers and non-fallers and determined the correlation between individual toe flexor muscle strength and the functional reach test (FRT). [Subjects] Thirty community-dwelling older adults (15 fallers and 15 age- and sexmatched non-fallers) between 65 and 83 years of age participated in this study. [Method] Individual toe flexor muscle strength was measured using a dynamometer, and balance ability was assessed with the FRT, Berg balance scale, and a sensory organization test (SOT). [Results] The hallux and second toe flexor muscle strengths in the non-faller group were significantly stronger bilaterally than those in the faller group, whereas no significant differences in the third and fourth toe flexor muscle strengths were found. The individual toe plantar flexor muscle strengths were moderately correlated with FRT(r = 0.489-0.765). The non-faller group showed significantly greater balance ability in the FRT and SOT than the faller group. [Conclusion] The results of this study suggest that the force-generating capability of the hallux and second toe flexor muscle are related to the incidence of falls among elderly individuals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation