Biomechanics of assisted locomotion in elderly osteoarthritis patients

Ntolopoulou, Maria (2017). Biomechanics of assisted locomotion in elderly osteoarthritis patients. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Osteoarthritis is the most widespread musculoskeletal disease worldwide among the elderly. It causes joint pain that can affect locomotion and reduce mobility. For osteoarthritis patients, maintaining walking ability is considered the most beneficial way to preserve their quality of life. Walking sticks are widely used by elderly adults and have been shown to have a supportive role on locomotion. In this thesis I carried out four experiments: The first study investigated how footwear affects the locomotion of elderly patients suffering from this disease. In the second chapter the gait of elderly walking stick users was analysed in conjunction with their responses to a questionnaire with a view to understanding the causes and context of walking stick use in their everyday environments. My findings demonstrated that the majority of participants experienced greater pain after prolonged use of their walking stick. In the last two experiments I investigated how the use of a walking stick combined with aspects of the individual’s locomotor environment (e.g. indoor and outdoor, level and sloped surfaces) to influence gait. Overall, osteoarthritis, advanced age and challenging locomotor environments can influence their quality of life and the risk of falling.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Biosciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QP Physiology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology


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