Gait characteristics of individuals with multiple sclerosis before and after a 6-month aerobic training program

J Rehabil Res Dev. 1999 Jul;36(3):183-8.


Individuals who have multiple sclerosis (MS) typically experience problems with physical activities such as walking, resulting from the combined effects of skeletal muscle weakness, sensory disturbances, spasticity, gait ataxia, and reduction in aerobic capacity. The aim of this study was to determine whether a 6-mo exercise program designed for aerobic conditioning might also affect gait abnormalities in individuals with MS. Subjects included 18 individuals with MS who presented a range of disability. Passive range of motion (PROM) in the lower limbs was measured and gait analyzed before and after exercise conditioning. Three-dimensional kinematics, ground reaction forces (GRF), and electromyographic information were acquired as subjects walked at self-selected velocities. Hip PROM increased following conditioning. Mean walking velocity, cadence, and posterior shear GRF (push-off force) decreased. During walking, maximum ankle dorsiflexion decreased and ankle plantarflexion increased. Total knee flexion/extension range during the walking cycle decreased slightly as did maximum hip extension. Results suggest this 6-mo training program had minimal effect on gait abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rotation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology