Successful long-term management of spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis using a software application (APP): A pilot study

Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2017 Oct;17:15-21. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2017.06.013. Epub 2017 Jun 27.


Background: Spasticity is a very common syndrome in patients with multiple sclerosis (pwMS), but available treatments lead to sufficient symptom control only in one third.

Objective: To investigate the impact of an individualized training program on improving spasticity in a prospective pilot trial in pwMS suffering from moderate spasticity (defined as ≥ 4 on a normative rating scale; NRS).

Methods: PwMS were familiarized with predefined exercises targeting spasticity while undergoing inpatient rehabilitation (IR). After IR, 20 pwMS were 1:1 randomized either to a newly designed APP-based home therapy program providing suitable exercises on a daily basis or to a paper-based home therapy program for 3 months. At month 3, all patients received the APP-based home program for another 3 months. Degree of spasticity was rated on the NRS.

Results: Undergoing inpatient rehabilitation for a mean of 32 days led to a significant reduction in spasticity in pwMS (p = 0.00). Further self-training with the APP-based home program for 3 months led to 1.2 lower mean NRS as compared to training with the conventional paper-based program (p = 0.09). Spasticity was found to be on low levels again in both groups after 6 months.

Conclusion: In pwMS, an individually tailored anti-spasticity program delivered by a software APP is a feasible tool for increasing long-term adherence to self-training thereby positively impacting spasticity in pwMS.

Keywords: APP; Multiple sclerosis; Rehabilitation; Spasticity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Muscle Spasticity / complications
  • Muscle Spasticity / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Software
  • Treatment Outcome