Recent research results may help people living with multiple sclerosis more strategically choose the right exercise to curb fatigue. A report published on August 10 in the International Journal of Sports Medicine focused on which workout routines were the most effective at reducing fatigue in people with MS. The network meta-analysis (a review of previous studies) was led by researchers at Anhui Medical University in China.
The authors analyzed data involving 1,470 people with MS who had participated in prior studies regarding the impact of exercise. Overall, most of the exercises the researchers reviewed resulted in better fatigue outcomes — when compared to control groups. Aquatic therapy ranked as the most effective exercise for curbing fatigue caused by MS, while climbing ranked as having worse outcomes than the control groups.
Aquatic therapy is known to be an inviting form of exercise for people with MS, particularly since working out in cool water can protect participants against overheating. Heat can exacerbate the symptoms of MS. In addition, the benefits of aquatic therapy for people with MS may include increasing flexibility, muscle strength, mobility, range of motion, and cardiovascular endurance.
The study authors noted that their findings were not definitive and said that more studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of aquatic therapy for managing MS-related fatigue.
Read more about the benefits of exercising with MS.