OBJECTIVE: To determine the outcome of intervention with a spinal weighted kypho-orthosis (WKO) and a spinal proprioceptive extension exercise dynamic (SPEED) program on the risk of falls in ambulatory community-dwelling persons older than 60 years with osteoporosis-kyphosis at risk for falls. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The study had 3 stages. At stage 1 (baseline), the 12 women in the kyphotic group were compared with 13 healthy controls to assess the risk of falls and balance disorder in the kyphotic group. At stage 2, the 12 kyphotic women began the SPEED program with a WKO (2 supervised sessions in an outpatient clinic and a 4-week, daily home-based training program). At stage 3, baseline and follow-up data of the kyphotic group were compared to determine the effect of intervention. RESULTS: At baseline, there were significant differences between the osteoporotic-kyphotic group and the control group in balance (P=.002), gait (P<.05), and strength (P<.05). After a 4-week intervention, comparison of the kyphotic group's baseline and follow-up results showed a significant change in balance (P=.003) and several gait parameters (P<.05). Mean back extensor strength improved significantly from baseline (144.0±46.5 N) to follow-up (198.6±55.2 N; P<.001). Lower extremity muscle strength was not changed significantly, except for improved left ankle plantar flexors (P=.02). Back pain decreased significantly (P=.001). CONCLUSION: Balance, gait, and risk of falls improved significantly with the 4-week SPEED program.
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