Dynamic neuromuscular stabilization significantly improves balance, trunk function, and falls in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and may be more effective than core stabilization, according to a new study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Based on these findings, the study authors suggest dynamic neuromuscular stabilization as an effective exercise program for patients with MS.
To compare the effect of dynamic neuromuscular stabilization and core stabilization on trunk function, balance, falling, mobility, and spasticity in MS, the researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial.
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The study involved 64 patients with MS. They were 30 to 50 years of age and had an Expanded Disability Status Scale score between 2 and 5. The patients were then divided into 2 groups. Those in the first group received 15 sessions of core stabilization exercises, while those in the second group received the same number of dynamic neuromuscular stabilization exercise sessions. Each session lasted 60 minutes and was repeated 3 times a week for 5 weeks.
The primary outcome measure was balance function. Secondary outcome measures were mobility, trunk function, falling index, postural stability, spasticity, falling rate, and fear of falling.
The results showed that there were significant improvements in all outcome measures in both groups of patients after 5 weeks.
However, patients receiving dynamic neuromuscular stabilization exercises had more improvement in the Berg balance scale, trunk impairment scale, 12-item MS walking scale, and MS spasticity scale compared to patients who received core stabilization exercises.
They also had improved postural stability, reduced falling rates, and activities-specific balance confidence. Finally, they performed better in the timed Up and Go test than patients receiving the core stabilization tests.
These findings were valid at 17 weeks of follow-up.
“For future research, we suggest investigating whether these exercises are effective in [people with MS] with severe disabilities,” the researchers wrote.
Marand LA, Dehkordi SN, Roohi-Azizi M, Dadgoo M. Effect of dynamic neuromuscular stabilization on balance, trunk function, falling and spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. Published online October 4, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2022.09.015