Massage and mobilization of the feet and ankles in elderly adults: Effect on clinical balance performance

Jacques Vaillant, Audrey Rouland, Pascale Martigné, Renaud Braujou, Michael J. Nissen, Jean-Louis Caillat-Miousse, Nicolas Vuillerme, Vincent Nougier and Robert Juvin

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a session of plantar massage and joint mobilization of the feet and ankles on clinical balance performance in elderly people. A randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial was used to examine the immediate effects of manual massage and mobilization of the feet and ankles. Twenty-eight subjects, aged from 65 to 95 years were recruited from community nursing homes. Main outcome measures were the performances in three tests: One Leg Balance (OLB) test, Timed Up and Go (TUG) test and Lateral Reach (LR) test.

Results demonstrated a significant improvement after massage and mobilization compared with placebo which emphasises the positive impact of a single session of manual therapy applied to the feet and ankles on balance in elderly subjects.

Manual Therapy, 8 May 2009, online article ahead of print

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