Effect of isokinetic training on muscle strength and postural balance in children with Down’s syndrome

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Abstract

Children with Down’s syndrome (DS) often have greater postural sway and delay in motor development. Muscle weakness and hypotonia, particularly of the lower extremities, are theorized to impair their overall physical health and ability to perform daily activities. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of isokinetic training on muscle strength and postural balance in children with DS. Thirty-one children with DS ranging in age from 9 to 12 years were assigned randomly into two groups. The control group received the conventional physical therapy, whereas the study group received the same therapy as the control group in addition to the isokinetic training 3 days a week for 12 weeks. Measurement of stability indices using the Biodex Stability System as well as peak torque of knee flexors and extensors of both sides using the isokinetic dynamometer was performed before and after 12 weeks of the treatment program. Each group showed significant improvements in postural balance and peak torque of knee flexors and extensors (P<0.05), with significantly greater improvements observed in the study group compared with the control group (P<0.05). These outcomes indicated that participation in the isokinetic training program induced greater improvements in muscle strength and postural balance in children with DS.

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