Exercise Regime Tackles MS Balance Problems 

Mobility problems and fatigue experienced by people with MS could be alleviated through a special programme of exercises, researchers believe.

 Balance problems and fatigue are common in MS, leading to falls and limited mobility. MS can also cause vision problems which may lead to inappropriate movement corrections that can exacerbate balance problems. A newly published study, authored by Jeffery R Herbert, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, involved 88 people with MS who were able to walk 100 metres with no more assistance than using a cane or other device on one side. They completed assessments on their balance, fatigue and dizziness. Half of the group then completed six-weeks of supervised exercises twice a week, as well as being given instructions for exercising every day at home. For the next eight weeks, they had one supervised exercises sessions each week, plus that daily exercises at home.

All participants were test after 6 weeks and again at the end of the programme. The exercises included balancing on different surfaces and while walking, both with and without head movements and eyes open and eyes closed, as well as eye movement exercises to help improve visual stability, it was reported in the journal of neurology. 

After 6 weeks, the people who had completed the exercise programme had improved their balance compared to the control group.

Throughout the year's BASIC has treated a number of service users with MS using a variety of rehabilitation methods, from complementary therapies and acupuncture to our state of the art virtual reality rehabilitation suite. The CAREN, Dynstable and C-Mill can help service users physical and cognitive rehabilitation in a safe and controlled environment. Exercises are designed to be specific and personalised and work on all aspects of movement, including balance.