Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2005) 04, 372 - 381

Research article
Hormone Replacement and Strength Training Positively Influence Balance During Gait in Post-Menopausal Females: A Pilot Study
Stephen D. Perry , Eric Bombardier, Alison Radtke, Peter M. Tiidus
Author Information
Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Stephen D. Perry
✉ Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5, Canada
Email: sperry@wlu.ca
Publish Date
Received: 25-05-2005
Accepted: 11-08-2005
Published (online): 01-12-2005
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ABSTRACT

This study examined the effects of hormone replacement combined with strength training on improving dynamic balance control in post-menopausal women. Thirty one participating post-menopausal women were divided into three groups (hormone replacement (HR), non-hormone replacement (NR) and control (CR) group). HR and NR groups were tested for muscle strength and balance control during gait, prior to training and following a six week lower body strength training program. Quadriceps muscle strength was evaluated as isokinetic peak torque (60°·sec-1) using a CYBEX NORM and balance control was evaluated by center of mass - base of support relationships and ground reaction forces during gait perturbations. Only the HR group showed significantly (p < 0.05) improved balance control during the initial phase of unexpected gait termination and single stance periods while walking across uneven terrain following training. The strength gains in the HR group tended to be greater than in the NR group over the six week training program, although neither group showed statistically significant increases. The CR group showed no significant differences between testing times. HR in post-menopausal females may enhance dynamic balance control when combined with a strength training program, even if no statistically significant gains in strength are achieved.

Key words: Estrogen replacement, gait, balance, strength


           Key Points
  • This study provides evidence that even a short modest strength training program can enhance dynamic balance control in older adult females taking hormone replacement.
  • If potential benefits of hormone replacement therapy extend to enhancing muscle strength then this would be important in designing optimal interventions for both strength and balance for this cohort.
  • Future work should explore the influence of hormone replacement therapy on other dynamic balance or functional tasks.
 
 
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