The effects of resistance exercise on lower extremity power in women with multiple sclerosis Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9593tz42f

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  • A common perspective promoted by health care professionals is that exercise may help reduce symptoms and improve activities of daily living among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Yet, the effects of resistance exercise on power, functional mobility, and fatigue are largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an eight-week resistance training program on lower extremity power, functional mobility, and daily levels of fatigue in women with MS. Twenty-nine women (M=50.5 years ± 8.5 SD) with an average Expanded Disability Status Scale score of 3.6 were stratified by disability level and age, and then randomized (n=24) into the exercise (n=16) and control group (n=13). The exercise group participated in six exercise instructional sessions prior to the implementation of the eight-week home based exercise program. The lower extremity resistance training intervention was three times per week (for an hour) and consisted of functional exercises with weighted vests. Power was examined in both legs using the Lower Extremity Power Rig (Bio-Med International), and functional mobility was examined with the Up and Go test. Fatigue was recorded every morning (10 a.m.) and evening (7 p.m.), using a visual analog scale. All participants completed a familiarization session prior to testing. Following the intervention, data analysis indicated significant differences in lower extremity power. Functional mobility tests scores improved in the exercise group by 11.7%, but the improvements were not statistically significant. Fatigue data were summarized by regressing the average daily fatigue values over time, yet, there were no significant differences in fatigue slope between groups. The home-based exercise program offered a practical means for ambulatory adults with MS to improve lower extremity power by over 30% in a short period of time. While functional mobility results were not significant, anecdotal evidence demonstrated that four participants in the exercise group stopped using their canes for ambulation. This type of progressive resistance exercise may be a feasible way for adults with MS to improve lower extremity power and overall physical activity using a program accessible to all.
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