Skip navigation

Effects of manual manipulations of the ankle and foot on quiet stance in young and elderly females

Effects of manual manipulations of the ankle and foot on quiet stance in young and elderly females

Climent, Guillaume and Goss-Sampson, Mark ORCID: 0000-0002-2662-559X (2003) Effects of manual manipulations of the ankle and foot on quiet stance in young and elderly females. In: Conference of the International Society for Postural and Gait Research - ISPGR World Congress, 23-27 March 2003, Sydney, Australia. (Unpublished)

Full text not available from this repository.


Introduction: The upright bipedal stance constitutes a major challenge to our balance control system, however in our day to day life we are unaware of the complexity of the task and it is only following injury or due to the aging process that one realizes how vulnerable we become and how much easier it can be to lose balance and fall. The effects of two manual manipulations of the ankle and foot on quiet stance in young (23.5 ± 3.5 yrs) and elderly females (65.2 ± 4.4 yrs) were examined. These manipulations consisted of a contract-relax proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching and of an articulation technique. Despite being widely used by manual therapists these techniques have not been researched in relation to postural control and therefore their potential use in balance rehabilitation is unknown.

Methods: Using kinetic and kinematic analysis, the following sway variables were acquired: centre of pressure (CoP) and centre of gravity (CoG) sway area, amplitude, power and frequency. Cross correlation analysis was conducted on CoP and CoG signals. Stabilogram-diffusion analysis (Collins and De Luca 1993) was also performed on CoP displacements. Pre- and post-manipulation passive and active ankle range of movement were recorded as well as standing ankle angular velocity. EMG activity was recorded bilaterally from the tibialis anterior and the lateral gastrocnemius muscles.

Results: The two manual manipulations applied to the ankle and foot had distinct somatosensory and mechanical effects on postural control. Following PNF somatosensory information was altered in such a way that under EC conditions a decrease in balance control was found in both young and elderly. In the young population this decrease was revealed through a less tightly regulated closed loop feedback system whereas in the elderly a reduction in the dynamic safety margin between CoP and CoG displacements was observed. Conversely the effects of articulation on somatosensation did not decrease the postural balance control of either groups but led to a greater dynamic safety margin in the young group under EO conditions indicating an increased balance control. An enhanced mechanical function of the ankle and foot allowing the descending motor control to operate more efficiently was only observed in the young group following PNF. However following articulation this increased open loop balance control was found in both young and elderly.

Discussion and Conclusions: PNF applied to the ankle dorsi and plantarflexors led to a decrease in balance control in both young and elderly. Conversely articulation technique to the ankle and foot produced an improved balance control also in both groups. From this positive result it is hoped that the use of articulation technique may be integrated into rehabilitation and/or fall-prevention programmes related to balance stability. However as participants were only tested immediately after the manual manipulations, the duration of the observed effects is not known. This would require further investigation so that the frequency of use of such techniques can be appropriately planned by health professionals.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Plenary)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Quiet stance postural sway
Subjects: Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2021 04:46
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item