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Feasibility of a targeted strengthening program to improve gait in people with multiple sclerosis

a brief report

Mañago, Mark M.a,c; Hebert, Jeffrey R.a; Kittelson, Johnb; Schenkman, Margareta

International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: December 2018 - Volume 41 - Issue 4 - p 364–367
doi: 10.1097/MRR.0000000000000306
Brief research reports

This study aims to determine feasibility of strengthening muscles that are important contributors to gait for people with multiple sclerosis, yet are not routinely targeted in the literature. An 8-week strengthening intervention targeted ankle plantarflexion, hip abduction, and trunk muscles using a repeated-measures design. Outcomes included satisfaction, adherence, muscle strength, gait speed (timed 25-foot walk), gait endurance (6-min walk test), and self-reported gait-related participation (Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale-12). Ten participants (Expanded Disability Status Scale: 3.5–5.5) completed the intervention. All participants were at least ‘satisfied’; adherence was 87% (supervised sessions) and 75% (home sessions). All quantitative measures improved: muscle strength (23.1–47.6%, P<0.001–0.039), timed 25-foot walk (−13.4%, P<0.001), 6-min walk test (41.56 m, P=0.019), and Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale-12 (−10.5, P=0.007). Strengthening of ankle plantarflexion, hip abduction, and trunk muscles was feasible and associated with improvements in gait performance.

Departments of aPhysical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine

bBiostatistics and Informatics, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver

cDepartment of Rehabilitation, University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colorado, USA

Correspondence to Mark M. Mañago, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Mail Stop C244, 13121 E 17th Avenue, Room 3108, Aurora, CO 80045, USA Tel: +1 303 724 0247; fax: +1 303 724 9016; e-mail:

Received June 21, 2018

Accepted July 9, 2018

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