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Systematic Review of the Importance of Hip Muscle Strength, Activation, and Structure in Balance and Mobility Tasks

Published:January 04, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2021.12.008

      Abstract

      Objective

      The aim of this systematic review was to identify the associations of the hip abductor muscle strength, structure, and neuromuscular activation on balance and mobility in younger, middle-aged, and older adults.

      Data Sources

      We followed PRISMA guidelines and performed searches in PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database.

      Study Selection

      Study selection included: (1) studies with patients aged 18 years or older and (2) studies that measured hip abduction torque, surface electromyography, and/or muscle structure and compared these measures with balance or mobility outcomes.

      Data Extraction

      The extracted data included the study population, setting, sample size, sex, and measurement evaluated.

      Data Synthesis

      The present systematic review is composed of 59 research articles including a total of 2144 young, middle-aged, and older adults (1337 women). We found that hip abductor strength is critical for balance and mobility function, independent of age. Hip abductor neuromuscular activation is also important for balance and mobility, although it may differ across ages depending on the task. Finally, the amount of fat inside the muscle appears to be one of the important factors of muscle structure influencing balance.

      Conclusions

      In conclusion, a change in all investigated variables (hip abduction torque, neuromuscular activation, and intramuscular fat) appears to have an effect during balance or mobility tasks across age ranges and may elicit better performance. Future studies are necessary to confirm the effect of these variables across age ranges and the effects of interventions.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      BBS (Berg Balance Scale), BSE (balance self-efficacy), EMG (electromyography), GM (gluteus medius muscle), HDL (high density lean muscle), IMAT: (intramuscular fat), JBI (Joanna Briggs Institute), OLST (one-legged stance test), RFD (rate of force development), RTD (rate of torque development), SEBT (Star Excursion Balance Test), STST (sit-to-stand test), TFL (tensor fascia latae muscle), TUG (timed Up and Go), YBT (Y balance test)
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