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Effect Of Strength Training On Static Balance In Persons With Multiple Sclerosis - A Preliminary Study: 975 Board #197 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Gutierrez, Gregory M.; Chow, John W. FACSM; Tillman, Mark D.; White, Lesley J.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2005 - Volume 37 - Issue 5 - p S189
C-32: Free Communication/Poster – Strength Training/Testing: THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2005 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, ROOM: Ryman C2

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

(Sponsor: John Chow, FACSM)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common cause of nontraumatic neurological disability in young adults. MS lesions can occur in both the gray and white matter of the central nervous system and due to the variable distribution of demyelination, people with MS may experience a wider variety of symptoms than any other neurological disease, including problems with strength and balance.

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To provide preliminary data evaluating the effect of a 16-week progressive resistance training program on postural sway characteristics in individuals with MS.

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Four female and one male MS subjects (age: 41.2 (12.6) y; height: 1.66 (0.08) m; mass: 70.2 (11.7) kg; EDSS = 3.6 (1.7)) participated in a progressive strength training program 2 times/wk for 16 wks under supervision. To assess balance pre- and post-training, subjects were monitored while standing on a force platform (sampled at 40 Hz) as steady as possible in 4 different stance conditions: feet 15.2 cm apart (F), feet 15.2 cm apart on a foam pad (P), semitandem (S), and tandem (T). Two trials lasting 20 sec were conducted for each stance. The center-of-pressure (COP) was tracked for all trials and the average COP path length, and the amplitudes in the mediolateral (ML) and antero-posterior (AP) directions over the two trials were calculated for each stance. Nonparametric Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks tests were performed to examine the training effect (α = 0.05).

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A significant decrease was found for the path length in the P stance (p = .043) and the medio-lateral amplitude in the T stance (p = .043) after training (Table 1).

Table 1

Table 1

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Our data suggests that strength training in subjects with MS is associated with reduced sway, improved stability, and possibly reduced predisposition for falling.

©2005The American College of Sports Medicine