Effects of Ai-Chi on balance, functional mobility, strength and fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study.
NeuroRehabilitation. 2013 ;33(3):431-7. PMID: 23949074
BACKGROUND: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients are often referred to aquatic physical therapy, but unfortunately, researches on the effects of aquatic therapy in MS patients are limited.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Ai-Chi on balance, functional mobility, strength and fatigue in ambulatory patients with MS.
METHODS: Twenty-three ambulatory female patients were divided into two groups as experimental (n = 15) or control (n = 8) for an 8-week treatment program. The experimental group underwent Ai-Chi exercises in a swimming pool and the control group performed active arm and leg exercises combined with abdominal breathing exercises at home. Static standing balance was measured with duration of one-leg stance, functional mobility was evaluated with Timed-up and Go test and 6 minute walk test, upper and lower muscle strength was assessed with hand-held dynamometer and fatigue was evaluated with Fatigue Severity Scale.
RESULTS: Improvements were observed in static standing balance, functional mobility, upper and lower extremity muscle strength and fatigue in the Ai-Chi group (p<0.05), but no significant differences in any outcome measures were observed in the control group (p>0.05) after the intervention.
CONCLUSIONS: According to these findings Ai-Chi may improve balance, functional mobility, upper and lower extremity muscle strength and fatigue in patients with MS.