In older adults, a home-based exercise program implemented post-hip facture rehabilitation significantly improved balance, function, and mobility, a recent study says. During the study, researchers sought to pinpoint the efficacy of a 6-month, functionally oriented, home exercise rehabilitation program with modest in-person contact with a physical therapist (PT). The program was designed to extend the benefits of the initial hip fracture rehabilitation.

According to a news release from Performance Health, Akron, Ohio, a total of 200 functionally limited patients older than 60 years old were assigned to either an exercise group or control group following the completion of conventional hip fracture rehabilitation. The release notes that the exercise group performed 6 months of home-based exercise, while the control group received education at home.

Participants performed the home exercise program three times per week for 6 months. A PT also visited the patients in their home three times for one hour in order to instruct and monitor the program, which used TheraBand exercise bands and the Strong for Life exercise program. In the program, a focus is placed on functional movements, rather than conventional strength impairments. The release states that patients also performed other functional exercises using steps and weighted vests.

The results indicate patients in the exercise group significantly increased function by 16%, mobility by 4%, and physical activity levels by 7%, compared to the control group. Additionally, researchers say, balance improved significantly in the exercise group when compared with the control group at 6 months.

In their conclusion, the release states, researchers acknowledge home-based exercise post-hip fracture rehabilitation with TheraBand exercise bands could provide modest improvement in physical function after 6 months.

Source: Performance Health