Background: The gait patterns of women with low bone mineral density (BMD) or osteoporosis have not been thoroughly explored, and when examined, often studied in relation to falls and kyphosis. Research question: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between gait parameters and comfortable, self-selected walking speed and BMD in older post-menopausal women with a broad range of T-scores (healthy to osteoporotic). Methods: 3D kinematic and kinetic data were collected from forty-five women mean (SD) age 67.3 (1.4) years during level walking at their preferred speed. Multiple regression analyses explored the explained variance attributable to speed, femoral neck T-score, and age. Results: The mean (SD) walking speed 1.40 (0.19) m·s−1explained the variance in most temporal-spatial, kinematic and joint powers (R2= 12–68%, P ≤ 0.01). T-score accounted for (R2= 23%, P ≤ 0.001) of the shared explained variance in stride width. It also increased the explanatory power for knee flexion (R2= 7%, P ≤ 0.05) and knee range of motion (R2= 12%, P ≤ 0.01). Power absorption by the knee flexors in terminal swing (K4) was the only power burst resulting in significant slope coefficients for all predictor variables (R2= 52 and 54%) (P ≤ 0.001) and (R2= 68%, P ≤ 0.05). Significance: Speed alone explained most of the variance in the gait parameters, while speed and T-score combined increased the explanatory power of the regression models for some of the knee joint variables. Our findings demonstrated that older post-menopausal women, with a broad range of T-scores, are able to walk at comfortably fast speeds, generating gait patterns similar to those of younger women. The results also suggest that strengthening the hip abductor, knee extensor and flexor muscle groups may benefit the gait patterns of older postmenopausal women with low BMD.
Dostanpor, A., Dobson, C. A., & Vanicek, N. (2018). Relationships between walking speed, T-score and age with gait parameters in older post-menopausal women with low bone mineral density. Gait and Posture, 64, 230-237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.05.005