Ai Chi for Multiple Sclerosis

Effects of Ai Chi on balance, functional mobility, strength and fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis: A pilot study.

By Bayraktar D, Guclu-Gunduz A, Yazici G, Lambeck J, Batur-Caglayan HZ, Irkec C, Nazliel B. from the Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey.

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.

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