Effects of neuromuscular and proprioceptive training on self-reported wellness and health scores and knee sensorimotor characteristics in active seniors

Author: Takashi Nagai1, Nathaniel A Bates2, Luca Rigamonti3, John H Hollman4, Edward R Laskowski4, Nathan D Schilaty5
1 United States Army Research Institute and Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, USA; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address: takashi.nagai.civ@mail.mil.
2 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; Department of Orthopaedics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.
3 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.
4 Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
5 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; Department of Neurosurgery & Brain Repair, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA; University of South Florida Center for Neuromusculoskeletal Research, Tampa, FL, USA.
Conference/Journal: J Bodyw Mov Ther
Date published: 2023 Oct 1
Other: Volume ID: 36 , Pages: 370-379 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2023.06.008. , Word Count: 239

Athletes regularly engage in comprehensive neuromuscular and proprioceptive training (NPT) to prevent musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries. NPT exercises such as movement technique, agility, balance, and posture as well as yoga-based stretching and slow/deep breathing have shown added benefits in psychological and other well-being. This study aimed to examine the effects of NPT on knee sensorimotor characteristics and multi-domain wellness and health scores in active seniors.

Twenty seniors participated in the NPT intervention (15-20min session twice a week for 10 weeks) while the control group did not receive any intervention. All participants completed surveys (general health, frailty, anxiety, stress, mindfulness, optimism, and sleep quality) and laboratory testing before and after intervention. Laboratory testing included frailty tests (grip strength, 4-m walk speed, and calcaneal ultrasound-based bone density) and knee sensorimotor characteristics (peak force, visual-motor reaction time, and force steadiness).

There was significant increase in general mental health (Short Form 36 Mental Health; p = 0.005) and decrease in stress (Perceived Stress Scale; p = 0.010) and sleep disturbances (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; p = 0.019) post-intervention while no significant changes were observed in the control group (p = 0.310-0.654). Peak knee forces in all directions and some visual-motor reaction time and force steadiness were significantly improved post-intervention only in the experimental group (p = 0.001-0.038).

A simple, yet, comprehensive NPT has potential to improve MSK health as well as various domains of well-being among active seniors.

Keywords: Frailty; Musculoskeletal; Proprioception; Seniors; Wellness.

PMID: 37949586 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2023.06.008