Pilates for Multiple Sclerosis

Study: the effects of Pilates on balance, mobility and strength in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)

By: Guclu-Gunduz A, Citaker S, Irkec C, Nazliel B, Batur-Caglayan HZ From the Faculty of Health Science, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey, 2013


Although there are evidences as to Pilates developing dynamic balance, muscle strength and flexibility in healthy people, evidences related to its effects on Multiple Sclerosis patients are insufficient.


The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of Pilates on balance, mobility, and strength in ambulatory patients with Multiple Sclerosis.


Twenty six patients were divided into two groups as experimental (n = 18) and control (n = 8) groups for an 8-week treatment program.

The experimental group underwent Pilates and the control group did abdominal breathing and active extremity exercises at home.

Balance and mobility were measured with Berg Balance Scale and Timed up and go test, upper and lower muscle strength with hand-held dynamometer.

Confidence in balance skills while performing daily activities was evaluated with Activities Specific Balance Confidence Scale.


Improvements were observed in balance, mobility, and upper and lower extremity muscle strength in the Pilates group (p < 0.05).

No significant differences in any outcome measures were observed in the control group (p > 0.05).


Due to its structure which is made up of balance and strengthening exercises, Pilates training may develop balance, mobility and muscle strength of MS patients. For this reason, we think that, Pilates exercises which are appropriate for the disability level of the patient may be suggested.

References: PMID: 23949064