The increased risk of falls associated with advancing age has increased demand for methods to improve balance and mobility. The primary purpose of the study was to determine whether wearing Aqua Titan-treated stockings could improve balance and walking performance in an older population; secondary was to elucidate the mechanisms. In a randomized, double-blind crossover, 16 healthy older adults (age, 67.9 +/- 4.2 years; BMI, 24.8 +/- 3.1 kg/m(2)) performed two 4-day trials composed of baseline measures and fatiguing exercise on Day 1, with recovery measures at 14, 38 and 62 h post-exercise, wearing Aqua Titan and control stockings. Balance, walking performance, triceps surae stretch reflex, ankle range of motion and gastrocnemius muscle microvascular perfusion, blood flow and oxygen consumption were measured at baseline and during recovery. Aqua Titan had no effect on the microvascular parameters, but increased total ankle range of motion at 38 h (2.4°; 95% CI +/- 1.8°) and 62 h (2.7°; +/-1.7°), contributed to by increases in dorsiflexion and plantar flexion. There was decreasing persistence in the medial-lateral center of pressure movement at 38 h (q = 0, −0.0635 +/- 0.0455), compared to control stockings. Aqua Titan garments hold potential for improving balance and mobility in older adults in the days following a bout of fatiguing exercise. The proposed mechanisms associated with enhanced sensory feedback require further exploration.
Black, M., Lucero, A., Fink, P., Stoner, L., Shultz, S., Lark, S., & Rowlands, D. (2018). The Effects of Uniquely-Processed Titanium on Balance and Walking Performance in Healthy Older Adults. Journal of Functional Biomaterials, 9(2), 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb9020039