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J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2015 Jan;19(1):72-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2014.04.004. Epub 2014 Apr 16.

Yoga therapy and ambulatory multiple sclerosis Assessment of gait analysis parameters, fatigue and balance.

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Department of Orthopedic Prosthetics and Orthotics, Vocational School of Health, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey. Electronic address:
Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Hacettepe University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey.



Gait impairment, falls due to balance problems and fatigue are among the most important complaints in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and cause significant functional limitation. Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to help symptom management and to improve quality of life is growing among MS patients. Yoga is widely used as one of these CAM interventions, however, the number of studies that show the efficacy of yoga training in MS is inadequate. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of a short term yoga program on fatigue, balance and gait in patients with MS.


Eight volunteer ambulatory MS patients with clinically definite relapsing remitting MS whose Expanded Disability Status Score (EDSS) is less than or equal to 6.0, and eight healthy subjects were included in the study. Patients participated in 12 weeks of a bi-weekly yoga program under supervision. At their baseline and after yoga therapy, the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and Berg Balance Scale (BBS) are used to assess fatigue and balance. Three dimensional gait analysis is done using the Vicon 612 system with six cameras and two Bertec force plates, before and after therapy.


After short term yoga therapy, statistically significant achievements were obtained in fatigue, balance, step length and walking speed. Although sagittal plane pelvis and hip angles, ankle plantar flexor moment, powers generated at the hip and ankle joints at the pre-swing were improved, the improvements were not statistically significant.


Yoga therapy is a safe and beneficial intervention for improving fatigue, balance and spatiotemporal gait parameters in patients with MS. Further studies with a larger sample size and longer follow-up will be needed to evaluate the long term effects of yoga therapy.


Balance; Fatigue; Gait analysis; Multiple sclerosis; Yoga therapy

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