Improvement in strength following resistance training in MS patients despite varied disability levels

NeuroRehabilitation. 2011;28(4):373-82. doi: 10.3233/NRE-2011-0666.


Strength and endurance data from 67 participants with multiple sclerosis (MS) were compared before, during and after a 6-month program of standardized resistance training. The hypothesis was that a standardized, structured resistance training exercise program improves strength in MS patients with different levels of disability. The range of EDSS scores was 1-8: (40% - EDSS of 1-4.5), (35% - EDSS of 5-7) (25% - EDSS of 7.5 or higher). This unique study evaluated patients with differing levels of disability for a change in strength and endurance following a 6-month training program. Data were analyzed by repeat measures and analysis of variables using Proc GLM in SAS to account for variability between subjects, and within subjects, due to repeated measures at 3 time points. Each treatment was blocked by disability class. Every within-treatment analysis was significant. Each exercise showed significant improvement in strength for participants, despite disability levels. Increases in strength followed parallel improvement pathways, at all disability levels. All but one treatment displayed highly significant improvement (p-value < 0.0001). The results demonstrated that all individuals with MS, despite disability levels, show parallel improvement in strength and endurance. This study supports the use of exercise, including resistance programs, for all MS patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome