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STUDY: Effects of different physical activities on the walking capacity for MSers

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  • STUDY: Effects of different physical activities on the walking capacity for MSers

    Effects of different physical activities on the walking capacity for people with MS

    C. Jolk, R. Alcantara, L. Bernhardt, P. Platen, M. Marziniak, K. Weßling (Münster, DE)

    Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease which may result in motor weakness, spasticity, poor balance that may lead to severe progressive limitations of functioning in daily life. Positive effects of physical activities exist, but little is known about the effects on the walking capacity. Resistance training is a method to strengthen individually muscle groups but little is known about the influence on walking abilities. Exercises in group settings are not well examined with patients in MS.

    Objective: To study the effects of physical intervention on the maximum walking capacity on a tread mill for patients with MS.

    Methods: A randomized controlled three-armed multi-center trial with a 6 months study period was performed. SUBJECTS: 70 patients with MS and an EDSS from 1-6 were randomly allocated to one of the three groups.

    Intervention: Group 1 received a progressive resistance training (PoRT) using weight machines. Group 2 performed a core and stability training (CoaST) in group settings. All Participants followed a detailed exercise protocol within 6 months with one training session over 60 minutes per week.
    Group 3 main outcome parameters: The measurements were a maximum walking distance on a tread mill. Patients were assessed at baseline and 12 and 24 weeks post treatment with a standardized examination.

    Results: Both intervention groups could improve their maximum walking distance on a tread mill. The mean effect after the resistance training (34.7%, p=0.002) is comparable to the results after the group intervention (32.2%, p=0.001) on the treadmill. Both groups show a linear progression within 3 and 6 months. Highest individual improvements were 243 % compared to baseline. The mean of the PoRT-group improved the walking distance from 1366 to 1806 meters within 6 months the CoaST group improved for 378 meters up to 1468 meters. The control group showed no differences after 12 weeks of waiting.

    Conclusion: Resistance training and group intervention could improve the maximum walking distance for people in MS on a tread mill. Both physical interventions indicate an improvement to save independence regarding the importance of walking in daily life.
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    But walking on a treadmill (holding the bars) is really easy for me. Walking on the street is sometimes a challenge
    Interesting results nevertheless


    • #3
      Treadmill walking/running always seemed easier to me also.

      Strength training to help with mobility in general is what my PT is always after. And balance too, she says, is helped by core strengthening.

      When my kids were babies I used to call them my progressive weight training program. Now (when the grandkids aren't around) I just do yoga and core strengthening exercises.


      My Two Numb Feet - An MS Diary