(HealthDay News) — Balance impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS) involves constraints across multiple systems and consequently necessitates multimodal treatment, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management.

Susan L. Kasser, PhD, and Jesse V. Jacobs, PhD, from the University of Vermont in Burlington, conducted a systematic literature review to examine the mechanisms and treatment options associated with balance impairment in patients with MS.

The researchers found that balance deficits are common in MS and result from constraints across multiple systems of postural control. Increased fall risk, decreased physical activity, additional comorbidities, and reduced quality of life were found to result from poor balance. For individuals with MS who experience balance and mobility problems, a variety of exercise options are available. Targeted therapies such as vestibular rehabilitation and weighted torso training as well as general exercise and balance training prescriptions are potential physical interventions.

“Given that postural impairments result from a diverse set of deficits in different underlying control systems, therapeutic intervention should be multimodal,” the authors write. “Exercise prescription should address all affected contexts of postural control, including sensory and motor strategy training during postural transitions as well as induced postural perturbations, strength development, and gait activity.”

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