Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) position statement on exercise for people with mild to moderate multiple sclerosis

Journal article


Hoang, Phu D., Lord, Stephen, Gandevia, Simon and Menant, Jasmine. (2022). Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) position statement on exercise for people with mild to moderate multiple sclerosis. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 25(2), pp. 146-154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2021.08.015
AuthorsHoang, Phu D., Lord, Stephen, Gandevia, Simon and Menant, Jasmine
Abstract

Objectives: Multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common chronic and progressive neurological condition of the central nervous system, affects 26,000 Australian adults. Exercise training has beneficial effects on MS-related impairments including reduced muscular strength, poor aerobic capacity and impaired mobility, and in consequence can improve quality of life. This Position Statement provides evidence-based recommendations for exercise prescription and delivery of exercise training for people with MS with mild to moderate disability.

Design and methods: Synthesis of published works within the field of exercise training in MS.

Results: Exercise provides many benefits to people with MS. There is strong evidence that resistance and aerobic training, performed 2 to 3 times per week at a moderate intensity, are safe and can improve muscle strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, balance, fatigue, functional capacity, mobility and quality of life in people with MS with mild to moderate disability (Expanded Disease Severity Scale (EDSS) ≤ 6.5). However, the evidence for those with severe disability (EDSS >6.5) is less clear. The effects of exercise on MS pathogenesis, central nervous structures and other outcomes such as depression and cognitive impairment, have not been adequately investigated. Effective exercise interventions to improve balance, joint contractures and reduce falls in people with MS are also urgently needed as well as investigations of long-term (≥1 year) effects of exercise training.

Conclusions: Resistance and aerobic training exercises are effective to alleviate some characteristic signs and symptoms in MS and should be supplemented by balance exercise to prevent falls. Exercise training programs should be prescribed and delivered by qualified exercise professionals. It is important to recognise and accommodate exercise-associated complications such as fatigue and heat sensitivity.

Keywordsmultiple sclerosis; resistance exercise; aerobic exercise; fatigue; muscle weakness
Year2022
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Journal citation25 (2), pp. 146-154
PublisherElsevier Ltd
ISSN1440-2440
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2021.08.015
PubMed ID34538565
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85115002280
Page range146-154
FunderMS Research Australia
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Jan 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted17 Aug 2021
Deposited05 Sep 2023
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