Brugghemans (2011) Parkinson gait balance endurance (dutch)

Background. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating neurological disease. Several studies have reported that complementary and alternative therapies can have positive effects against pain in these patients. Objective. The objective was to investigate the effectiveness of an Ai-Chi aquatic exercise program against pain and other symptoms in MS patients. Methods. In this randomized controlled trial, 73MS patients were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group for a 20-week treatment program. The experimental group underwent 40 sessions of Ai-Chi exercise in swimming pool and the control group 40 sessions of abdominal breathing and contraction-relaxation exercises in therapy room. Outcome variables were pain, disability, spasm, depression, fatigue, and autonomy, which were assessed before the intervention and immediately and at 4 and 10 weeks after the last treatment session. Results. The experimental group showed a significant (P < 0.028) and clinically relevant decrease in pain intensity versus baseline, with an immediate posttreatment reduction in median visual analogue scale scores of 50% that was maintained for up to 10weeks. Significant improvements were also observed in spasm, fatigue, disability, and autonomy. Conclusion. According to these findings, an Ai-Chi aquatic exercise program improves pain, spasms, disability, fatigue, depression, and autonomy in MS patients.

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