Friday, 21 September 2012

Physiotherapy helps balance

Epub: Paltamaa J, Sjögren T, Peurala SH, Heinonen A. Effects of physiotherapy interventions on balance in multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.J Rehabil Med. 2012 Sep 19. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1047.

Objective: To determine the effects of physiotherapy interventions on balance in people with multiple sclerosis.

Data sources: A systematic literature search was conducted in Medline, Cinahl, Embase, PEDro, both electronically and by manual search up to March 2011.

Study selection: Randomized controlled trials of physiothe-rapy interventions in people with multiple sclerosis, with an outcome measure linked to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) category of "Changing and maintaining body position", were included. Data extraction: The quality of studies was determined by the van Tulder criteria. Meta-analyses were performed in subgroups according to the intervention.

Data synthesis: After screening 233 full-text papers, 11 studies were included in a qualitative analysis and 7 in a meta-analysis. The methodological quality of the studies ranged from poor to moderate. Low evidence was found for the efficacy of specific balance exercises, physical therapy based on an individualized problem-solving approach, and resistance and aerobic exercises on improving balance among ambulatory people with multiple sclerosis.

Conclusion: These findings indicate small, but significant, effects of physiotherapy on balance in people with multiple sclerosis who have a mild to moderate level of disability. However, evidence for severely disabled people is lacking.


This study suggests that on the face of it some physiotherapy may help a little with balance problems. Do you think it helps?

1 comment:

  1. I first went to PT hoping to improve my stamina and strength, which didn't pan out, but I did find it helpful for balance. They gave me some exercises where I had to stand in a corner on a foam pad with my eyes closed and move my head in various ways. By getting rid of visual input and reducing sensory input from the feet, the exercises are supposed to force my vestibular system to get with the program. I put a chair in front of me so I wouldn't fall. My balance is still not great, but the exercises led to quick improvement when I first started. I suppose maybe it depends what is causing your balance problems, which was the first thing the physical therapist tried to work out.

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