balance, elderly, falls, flexibility, passive range of motion



  1. Chiacchiero, Michael PT, DPT
  2. Dresely, Bethany DPT
  3. Silva, Udani DPT
  4. DeLosReyes, Ramone DPT
  5. Vorik, Boris DPT


This study investigated whether decreased passive lower extremity range of motion (ROM) and flexibility contribute to falls in the elderly. Eighteen subjects aged 60 years and older participated in the study. The subjects were divided into 2 categories, fallers and nonfallers. Both subject groups underwent ROM and flexibility testing of the lower extremity. A statistically significant decrease of ROM of hip extension, internal rotation, abduction, ankle dorsiflexion, and gastrocnemius length was found in the faller group as compared with the nonfaller group. The findings of this study suggest a link between decreased ROM and falls in the elderly and that addressing ROM deficits may decrease potential falls.