Recovery Time for People with Multiple Sclerosis and Exercise Interventions

Picture1Cycling and stationary bike exercise has been proposed as recent trending exercise interventions for people with neuromuscular diseases such as Parkinson’s and MS.  Many new therapeutic programs are emerging to engage people with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease in cycling endeavors. (i.e. I Ride with MS, Bike MS, ActiveMSers, Theracycle, Pedaling for Parkinsons). Many recreational therapists in physical rehabilitation conduct exercise interventions for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

However, a recent study was published this month to examine the recovery time needed for people with multiple sclerosis engaging in exercise interventions through cycling. For the sample population, a cycling test gaged maximum capacity for the participants with multiple sclerosis. During a 45-min recovery period, tympanic temperature, exertion in breathing and legs, and cortical excitability were measured. Results showed feelings of leg exertion may persist after exercise for some people with multiple sclerosis, especially at high intensities. This may relate to increased body temperature and, after continuous exercise, cortical excitability. These results show the need for recovery periods post exercise and further provide insight into potential post-exercise fatigue. For recreational therapists engaging patients with MS in exercise, recovery time is an important factor in successful patient outcomes. This study suggests the more intense exercise program, the more leg fatigue and increased temperature present in participating with MS. Staggering intensities of exercise can increase exercise endurance over time while maintaining healthy temperature levels for people with MS engaging in cycling interventions.

Does your RT program include cycling for people with neuromuscular disease such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis? If so, how do you structure your exercise programming to include recovery time for your participants?

Do you think this study is relevant to current rehabilitation trends in recreational therapy?

For more information on this recent study check out this link:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26972274

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