IMMEDIATE EFFECTS OF THAI MASSAGE ON GAIT SPEEDS AND BALANCE PARAMETERS IN ELDERLY
Keywords:Elderly, Thai massage, Gait, Balance, Flexibility
The purpose of this study was to determine the immediate effects of Thai massage on gait parameters, balance performance, and trunk flexibility in elderly aged 60-80 years. A randomized control trial was used. Sixteen elderly participants (12 females and 4 males) participated. They were divided into a Thai massage group and a control group. Participants in Thai massage group received 1-hour whole body Thai massage while those in the control group were assigned to rest for one-hour. Changes in all parameters after
receiving each of the sessions were compared by independent T-test. Within-group comparisons were analyzed by dependent t-test. Significantly differences were found for within-group comparison in right gait cycle duration of maximal gait speed (0.0023 s; p-value = 0.0023), single leg stance of left leg with open eye (15.17 s.; p-value = 0.034), and close eye conditions (2.3 s.; p-value = 0.022), and right leg with open eye (12.41 s.; p-value = 0.0294) and close eye conditions (4.06 s.; p-value = 0.0087), and trunk flexibility (2.14 cm.; p-value = 0.0003). However, there are little improvement of gait speed, stride length, gait cycle duration, cadences, and time-up-and-go test. We concluded that one session of Thai massage could provide immediate improvement in some gait parameters, balance performances, and body flexibility.