Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



Physical Therapy


Michael Chiacchiero

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy


More than one third of adults ages 65 years old and older fall each year in the United States. This can result in trauma, hospital admissions, and potential death. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of waist-pull perturbation training on balance in the elderly. There were two experimental groups, elderly non-fallers (n=9) and elderly fallers (n=5) between ages 65-86, and a control group comprised of young, healthy subjects (n=10) ages 21-31. All subjects underwent baseline and post-training measurements using EMG recordings of the tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, vastus lateralis and semimembranosus. Training was performing using repeated waist-pull perturbations in the forward direction. Results have shown that there was no significant differences in muscle activation patterns between the groups, and no significance in the direction of perturbation on muscle activation patterns as well. The results of this study suggest muscle activation patterns may not be affected by waist-pull perturbation training; further research may be necessary.