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STUDY: Changes in gait and balance in MSers attending a 12-week Pilates program

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  • STUDY: Changes in gait and balance in MSers attending a 12-week Pilates program

    Changes in gait and balance in people with multiple sclerosis attending a 12-week Pilates exercise program

    A. Kalron1, L. Frid2, S. Berkowitz2, A. Achiron2,3 1Department of Physical Therapy, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 2Multiple Sclerosis Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, 3Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

    Objective: Evaluate the effects of a Pilates exercise programme on walking and balance in people with multiple sclerosis and compare this exercise approach to conventional physical therapy sessions.

    Design: Randomized controlled trial.

    Settings: Multiple Sclerosis Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.
    Subjects: Forty-five people with multiple sclerosis, 29 females, mean age (SD) was 43.2 (11.6) years; mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (S.D) was 4.3 (1.3).

    Interventions: Participants received 12 weekly training sessions of either Pilates (n=22) or standardized physical therapy (n=23) in an outpatient basis.

    Main measures: Spatio-temporal parameters of walking and posturography parameters during static stance. Functional tests included the Time Up and Go Test, 2 and 6-minute walk test, Functional Reach Test, Berg Balance Scale and the Four Square Step Test. In addition, the following self-report forms included the Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale and Modified Fatigue Impact Scale.

    Results: At the termination, both groups had significantly increased their walking speed (P=0.021) and mean step length (P=0.023). According to the 2-minute and 6-minute walking tests, both groups at the end of the intervention program had increased their walking speed. Mean (SD) increase in the Pilates and physical therapy groups were 39.1 (78.3) and 25.3 (67.2) meters, respectively. There was no effect of group X time in all instrumented and clinical balance and gait measures.

    Conclusions: Pilates is a possible treatment option for people with multiple sclerosis in order to improve their walking and balance capabilities. However, this approach does not have any significant advantage over standardized physical therapy.

    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    One of the advantages of Pilates over PT is that classes are already included in the gym membership I already pay for. Also I dont need to get a referral or prescription. Another advantage is that is works all of the areas of my body and not just the problem areas. Of course I still don't do it but I bet I should!

    This does remind me that I have an order for PT for my gait/balance that I have been putting off making an appointment for and I bet I should!


    • #3
      Ditto, Ditto Maricanda!

      Also I find it helpful to have a "go to easy pose" in pilates or yoga if the modified pose isn't possible for me. I also found I like putting my mat by a wall because sometimes I can use the wall for balance or support if it is an inverted type pose.


      • #4
        That pose pictured above makes my whole core wobble partly because of weakness and partly because of balance. So I usually put one extra limb down. Just FYI....