Swiss ball exercises improve muscle strength and walking performance in ankylosing spondylitis: a randomized controlled trial

Rev Bras Reumatol Engl Ed. 2017 Jan-Feb;57(1):45-55. doi: 10.1016/j.rbre.2016.09.009. Epub 2016 Oct 20.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Objective: The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of a progressive muscle strengthening program using a Swiss ball for AS patients.

Methods: Sixty patients with AS were randomized into the intervention group (IG) or the control group (CG). Eight exercises were performed by the IG patients with free weights on a Swiss ball two times per week for 16 weeks. The evaluations were performed by a blinded evaluator at baseline and after 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks using the following instruments: the one-repetition maximum test (1 RM), BASMI, BASFI, HAQ-S, SF-36, 6-minute walk test, time up and go test, BASDAI, ASDAS, ESR and CRP dosage and Likert scale.

Results: There was a statistical difference between groups for: strength (1 RM capacity) in the following exercises: abdominal, rowing, squat, triceps and reverse fly (p<0.005); 6-minute walk test (p<0.001); timed up and go test (p=0.025) and Likert scale (p<0.001), all of them with better results for the IG. No differences were observed between the groups with respect to the functional capacity evaluation using the BASFI, HAQ-S, BASMI, SF-36, TUG, ASDAS, ESR and CPR dosage.

Conclusions: Progressive muscle strengthening using a Swiss ball is effective for improving muscle strength and walking performance in patients with AS.

Trial registration: NCT01351311.

Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis; Bola suíça; Espondilite anquilosante; Exercises; Exercícios; Exercícios resistidos; Resistance exercises; Swiss ball.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / physiopathology
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / rehabilitation
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / therapy*
  • Sports Equipment*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Young Adult

Associated data