Original Research

The effects of isometric exercises and stretching on postural stability in Non–Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus patients with diffuse symmetrical sensory motor neuropathy

S. Nenkova, A. Stewart, J. Potterton, P. Becker
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 65, No 2 | a84 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v65i2.84 | © 2009 S. Nenkova, A. Stewart, J. Potterton, P. Becker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 January 2009 | Published: 19 February 2009

About the author(s)

S. Nenkova, Department of Physiotherapy, Middelburg Hospital, Private Bag X1812, Middelburg, 1050, South Africa
A. Stewart, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
J. Potterton, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
P. Becker, Medical Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of isometric exercises and stretching on postural stability in Non – Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) patients with diffuse symmetrical sensory motor neuropathy. Patients were assigned to an experimental group and amatched control group. The experimental group received isometric exer-cises and stretching three times weekly for 12 weeks in addition to routine medication and dietary advice. A t the end of this period, this group wascompared with the control group, which received routine medication anddietary advice only. Measurements of muscle strength of quadriceps, ham-strings, ankle plantar and dorsiflexors, and Romberg’s test for postural sta-bility were carried out before and after the 12 weeks intervention. The study showed that isometric exercises and stretching for the lower extremities improved postural stability (p = 0.00)and strength of the quadriceps (p = 0.001) hamstrings (p = 0.001) dorsiflexors (p = 0.001) plantarflexors (p = 0.001)in NIDDM patients with diffuse symmetrical sensory motor neuropathy. This exercise regimen also had a loweringeffect on blood glucose level (p = 0.00).  In conclusion it seems that the simple exercise intervention described in thisstudy may be of benefit to these patients if incorporated into their management programmes.

Keywords

diabetic peripheral neuropathy ; isometric exercise; stretching; postural stability

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