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The Effect of 8 Weeks Hydrotherapy on Balance in Women with Multiple Sclerosis

Fatemeh sarvari M.Sc1, Ahmad Ebrahimi Atri PhD1, Morteza Saeidi MD2,Milad Ameli M.Sc1, Amir Shahriar Ariamanesh MD3*

1- Faculty of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran
2- Department of neurology, Mashad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
3- Department of Orthopaedics, Mashad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
* Corresponding Author

Introduction: Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) often have difficulty maintaining postural balance. problems with keeping proper balance and body posture is so common in patients with MS that the risk of fractures as a result of falling, is 2 to 3 times higher in them as compared to healthy people (4, 6). Hydrotherapy is frequently applied to patients with painful neurological or musculoskeletal alterations. Water also provides a supportive environment for individuals who have difficulty with their balance and coordination. Therefore the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of aquatic exercise program on balance in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Materials and methods: Twenty- six women with MS (age 34.12±8.1 years, height 159.65± 6.22 cm, weight 60.48± 11.03 kg, and mean EDSS 2.53± 1.34) were randomly assigned to either the exercise (n=14) or the control (n= 12)group. Exercise group participated in8 weeks of (3×week) aquatic exercise program. Balance was measured using the Berg Balance scale (BBS) and Functional Reach Test(FRT).

Results: In the exercise group, balance improved significantly in both BBS and FRT tests (p<0.05) while the scores of balance tests(BBS &FRT) did not change significantly in the control group.

Conclusion: The aquatic exercise program improved balance in patient with MS.

Keywords: Aquatic Exercise, Balance, Multiple sclerosis