Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Funded Research

Determining the Impact of a Pilates Program in Multiple Sclerosis

Year Awarded: 2016

Term: 2 years

Funding Amount: $39,935

Affiliation(s): University of Saskatchewan

Province(s): Saskatchewan

Hot Topics: Wellness Solutions

Research Priorities: Life-modifying therapies

Impact Goal(s): Advance Treatment and Care

Project Description:

Pilates - a type of exercise that focuses on body positions and movement – is becoming popular among people living with MS as an alternative to the more traditional exercise programs. Although somewhat limited, previous research has suggested Pilates may have some beneficial effects in MS. Dr. Evans will lead the first study in Canada to examine the impact of Pilates in MS. In collaboration with community co-investigator Jana Danielson, owner of multidisciplinary health and wellness studio Lead, Dr. Evans will conduct a 12-week, single-blinded, randomized controlled study in thirty people living with MS to evaluate the effects of two 50-minute Pilates classes twice weekly, plus weekly 1-hour massage therapy, compared to massage therapy alone. The impact of the Pilates treatment will be assessed by comparing between the two groups any changes in walking ability from the start to the end of the study using the 6-minute walk test. The study will also evaluate differences in other outcomes such as physical performance (balance, flexibility, independent mobility), muscle strength, and quality of life.

Potential Impact:

Results from this study will provide important insight into an exercise option that may benefit individuals with MS and provide them with another strategy to help manage their disease and enhance their wellness.

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