Phu Hoang – Abstract

P25      Safety and Feasibility of an Eccentric Exercise Intervention in People with Multiple Sclerosis with ankle contractures – A Case Series of five subjects

Hoang PD[1,2], Psarakis M[1], Greene D[1], Lord SR [2]

  1. Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Australia
  2. NeuRA, Australia

Purpose:  The primary aim of this study was to investigate the safety and feasibility of an eccentric exercise program (1) in people with Multiple Sclerosis who have an ankle contracture. Secondary aims were to explore the relationship between eccentric exercise, ankle joint range of motion and functional mobility.

Methods:  Five people with Multiple Sclerosis completed two eccentric training sessions a week for twelve weeks (total = 24 sessions). Eccentric training involved walking backwards downhill on an inclined treadmill for up to one hour. Pre-and post-intervention outcomes measured included ankle range of motion (passive and active), distance walked in the six-minute-walk test and spatiotemporal gait parameters.

Results:  There was a 100% adherence rate. There were no adverse events during or following the backwards downhill walk training. Subjects reported that they enjoyed the training intervention and experienced low levels of muscle soreness. The training program significantly improved (mean) outcomes of the passive and active range of motion for all subjects.

Conclusions:  The current study describes backwards downhill walking as a novel training modality in people with Multiple Sclerosis with ankle contractures. Clinical outcomes (passive and active range of motion) following backwards downhill walking are promising. Demonstration of a clinically meaningful causal effect of backwards downhill walking on gait in this population warrants further examination.

  1. Hoang PD, Herbert RD, Gandevia SC. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 2007; 39(5):849-57