Relationship between trunk muscle strength, reaching ability and balance in children with Down syndrome – A cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Background: Children with Down Syndrome (DS) present with neuromuscular disturbances leading to delayed developmental milestones, poor quality of movement and poor balance. The aim of this study is to discuss the role of trunk muscle strength in the functional performance of children with DS. Methodology: 28 children were recruited in the study, 14 with DS and 14 age and gender-matched controls. Trunk muscle strength, reaching ability and balance were assessed using a Handheld Dynamometer, Modified Functional Reach test and Pediatric Balance Scale, respectively. Results: Children with DS present with poorer trunk muscle strength, reaching ability and balance as compared to typically developing (TD) children. There was a positive correlation between trunk muscle strength and lateral reaching in children with DS. A strong to moderate correlation was observed between the trunk muscle strength and balance in children with DS. Discussion: Children with DS demonstrated a significantly weak trunk muscle groups. Lateral reaching distance is reduced due to the poor proximal control and they present with near-normal forward reach distance attributed to compensation using the lower trunk muscles. They exhibit poor balance in the components that require a small base of support. Conclusion: Children with DS exhibit weak trunk muscles along with lesser reaching distance and poor balance. Also, trunk muscle strength influences lateral reaching ability. Trunk muscle strength, mainly trunk extensors impacted functional balance in sitting, standing and while performing transfers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain and Development
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

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