OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of a balance exercise program on falls in people with mild-to-moderate multiple sclerosis (MS).
PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling adults with MS (N=32) able to walk 100 metres but unable to maintain 30-second tandem stance with arms alongside the body.
INTERVENTION: Seven weeks of twice-weekly physiotherapist-led 60-minute sessions of group-based balance exercise targeting core stability, dual tasking, and sensory strategies (CoDuSe).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes: number of prospectively-reported falls and proportion of participants classified as fallers during 7 pre-intervention weeks, intervention period, and 7 post-intervention weeks.
RESULTS: Number of falls (166 to 43; p ≤ 0.001) and proportion of fallers (17/32 to 10/32; p ≤ 0.039) decreased significantly between the pre-intervention and post-intervention periods. Balance performance improved significantly. No significant differences were detected for perceived limitations in walking and balance confidence.
CONCLUSIONS: The CoDuSe program reduced falls and proportion of fallers and improved balance performance in people with mild-to-moderate MS, but did not significantly alter perceived limitations in walking and balance confidence.
You can exercise to improve balance and reduce falling risk, but you know this already