Pilates can help improve walking performance in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, according to researchers who set out to test its effect.
The study split 30 MSers into two groups. One group, who were not restricted to a wheelchair or scooter and had a Patient-Determined Disease Steps scale score of less than seven, received Pilates twice weekly and massage therapy once weekly. The other was a controlled group, who received once weekly massage therapy only.
After 12 weeks the walking distance in the Pilates group increased by a mean of 52.4 m compared to 15.0 m in the control group.
Functional ability, tested by the Timed up and Go test, improved by 1.5 seconds in the Pilates group. In the control group a decrease in 0.3 seconds was noted. However, no other significant differences were identified throughout the study.
Researchers concluded that “Pilates improved walking performance and functional ability in people with MS” and is a viable exercise option to help manage the disease.