Different levels of physical activity and postural balance in women with multiple sclerosis
Keywords:Posturography, Functional performance, Center of pressure
BACKGROUND:Multiple Sclerosis (MS) presents some clinical manifestations that may indicate motor, sensory and cognitive dysfunctions. Motor dysfunctions in MS are related to balance impairment, muscle weakness, gait, and fatigue and can lead to a significant decrease in quality of life. Postural balance is crucial for daily life activities and can be assessed by posturography.
AIM:The primary objective was to evaluate the influence of different levels of habitual physical activity (PA) on postural balance in women with MS. Additionally, we included an evaluation of walking, mobility, fatigue, and quality of life.
METHOD:This is a cross-sectional study with 25 women with MS. Habitual PA was measured using the Baecke-Questionnaire, separated into low-level (LL) and high-level (HL) PA. Posturography was used to evaluate postural balance and obtain displacement of the center of pressure (CoP-speed, CoP-area). We evaluated gait spatiotemporal-parameters (GAITRite), walking performance (6MWT), functional mobility (TUG), fatigue (FSS, MFIS), and quality-of-life (FAMS).
RESULTS:The difference in CoP-speed and CoP-area was significant (p<0.05) with LL group presented greater values than the HL group. We found a medium effect size CoP-speed (Cohen’s d=0.6) and higher CoP-area (Cohen’s d=1.1). No significant differences with the other variables were found.
CONCLUSION:The results showed that the group with a LL PA presented worse postural balance compared to the group HL. Although level of PA and balance seem to be related, the results of this cross-sectional study could not confirm a causal inference. It is important to develop different strategies to increase PA levels and posture balance in women with MS.
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