Resistance Training Improves Gait Kinematics in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis


      Gutierrez GM, Chow JW, Tillman MD, McCoy SC, Castellano V, White LJ. Resistance training improves gait kinematics in persons with multiple sclerosis.


      To evaluate the effects of an 8-week lower-body resistance-training program on walking mechanics in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS).


      Repeated-measures design, evaluating gait kinematics before and after an 8-week progressive resistance-training intervention.


      Biomechanics laboratory and fitness center (with conventional, commercially available resistance-training equipment).


      Eight ambulatory subjects with MS (age, 46.0±11.5y) with Expanded Disability Status Scale scores ranging from 2.5 to 5.5.


      An 8-week progressive resistance-training program.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Kinematic gait parameters including knee range of motion, duration of stance, swing, and double-support phases in seconds and as percentages of the stride time, percentage of stride time spent in stance, swing, and double-support phases, step length, foot angle, stride length, velocity, step width, and toe clearance for both the more affected and less affected lower limbs. Isometric strength, 3-minute stepping, fatigue, and self-reported disability were also measured.


      After 2 months of resistance training, there were significant increases (P<.05) in percentage of stride time in the swing phase, step length, stride length, and foot angle; and significant decreases (P<.05) in percentage of stride time in the stance and double-support phases, duration of the double-support phase, and toe clearance. Isometric leg strength improved (P<.05) in 2 of the 4 muscle groups tested. Fatigue indices decreased (P=.04), whereas self-reported disability tended to decrease (P=.07) following the training program. Three-minute stepping increased by 8.7%.


      Resistance training may be an effective intervention strategy for improving walking and functional ability in moderately disabled persons with MS.

      Key Words

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