Ambulatory rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis

Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31(20):1625-32. doi: 10.1080/09638280902751931.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmunogenic disease involving demyelination within the central nervous system. Many of the typical impairments associated with MS can affect gait patterns. With walking ability being one of the most decisive factors when assessing quality of life and independent living, this review focuses on matters, which are considered of significance for maintaining and supporting ambulation. This article is an attempt to describe current research and available interventions that the caring healthcare professional can avail of and to review the present trends in research to further these available options. Evidence-based rehabilitation techniques are of interest in the care of patients with MS, given the various existing modalities of treatment. In this review, we summarise the primary factors affecting ambulation and highlight available treatment methods. We review studies that have attempted to characterise gait deficits within this patient population. Finally, as ambulatory rehabilitation requires multidisciplinary interventions, we examine approaches, which may serve to support and maintain ambulation within this patient group for as long as possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Ambulatory Care / methods*
  • Ataxia / physiopathology
  • Ataxia / rehabilitation
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / physiopathology
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation*
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology
  • Muscle Spasticity / physiopathology
  • Muscle Spasticity / rehabilitation
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Quality of Life