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LowerBalans och handgreppsstyrka är nedsatt hos de som har kroni muscle strength in people with COPD

Published: 22 January 2020

Balance and grip strength are impaired in those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD. This shows the results in a doctoral dissertation in physiotherapy written by Viktor Strandkvist at Luleå University of Technology.
– Above all, people with more severe illness had weaker grip strength, he says.

It is in collaboration with the Olin studies, which investigate lung diseases, that Viktor Strandkvist did the study. He has also compared the balance of people with COPD with a group that does not have the disease. The study was conducted in the Human Health an performance Lab, which is located at the university.

– We measured balance with a power plate. The group with COPD had inmpaired balance compared to the control group, both in a standing balance test and when we asked the participants to lean as far as they could in all directions, he says.

At the same time, the relationship between balance and other factors was investigated.

– We could see a relationship between reduced balance and increased tobacco consumption when we did stagnant tests with people who has COPD. We also saw a connection between a reduced distance that the participants could lean on and decreased muscle strength in the legs.

Prolonged smoking and age increase the risk of COPD, among those affected it is common with decreased muscle strength.

By testing the grip strength in the hand, which is a quick and easy examination, it is possible to estimate the general muscle strength of older people.

– We found a strong relationship between hand grip strength and leg strength in both people with COPD and the control group. However, we saw only a weak relationship between grip strength and balance, says Viktor Strandkvist.

Now he hopes to be able to continue with studies on how muscle weakness and balance change over time for people with COPD. The goal is to be able to create targeted and relevant preventive and rehabilitative measures in the future.