Background: Despite a shared purpose of improving functional capacity, the principles of progressive resistance training (PRT) and balance and motor control training (BMCT) are fundamentally different. Objectives: To investigate the effects of PRT and BMCT on gait performance and fatigue impact in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Methods: A multi-center, single-blinded, cluster-randomized controlled trial with two intervention groups (PRT and BMCT) and a control group (CON). The interventions lasted 10 weeks. A total of 71 participants with impaired mobility (Timed 25-Foot Walk (T25FW) > 5 seconds or Six Spot Step Test (SSST) > 8 seconds) were enrolled. Primary outcomes were the T25FW and the SSST. Fatigue impact, self-perceived gait function, 6-minute walk, balance, and muscle strength were secondary outcomes. Results: In total, 83% completed the study. The primary comparisons showed that BMCT, but not PRT, improved T25FW, SSST, and self-perceived gait function when compared to CON. Secondary comparisons showed that BMCT improved SSST more than PRT, while T25FW did not differ. Both BMCT and PRT reduced the fatigue impact. Finally, the effect of BMCT was superior to PRT on dynamic balance, while PRT was superior to BMCT on knee extensor muscle strength. Conclusion: BMCT, but not PRT, was superior to CON in improving gait performance, while both BMCT and PRT reduced fatigue.
- disease, health science and nursing
- balance training
- motor control
- multiple sclerosis
- resistance training