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SYSTEMATIC REVIEW   Free accessfree

European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2022 February;58(1):26-32

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.21.06689-2


language: English

The content and effects of trunk rehabilitation on trunk and upper limb performance in people with multiple sclerosis: a systematic review

Joke RAATS 1 , Ilse LAMERS 1, 2, Ine MERKEN 1, Jolien BOECKMANS 1, Bernardita SOLER 3, Britt NORMANN 4, Ellen C. ARNTZEN 5, Peter FEYS 1

1 REVAL Rehabilitation Research Center, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium; 2 Noorderhart Rehabilitation and MS Center, Pelt, Belgium; 3 Department of Neurology, Doctor Sótero del Río Hospital, Santiago, Chile; 4 Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Nord University, Bodø, Norway; 5 Kongsgården Fysioterapi A/S, Bodø, Norway

INTRODUCTION: Persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) could have an impaired trunk and reduced postural control, which negatively impacts activities of daily living. Evidence is growing to consider the positive effects of trunk training on fall incidence and balance problems. Effects on trunk and upper limb performance is unknown. This systematic review provides an overview of trunk training programs and their effects in MS, specifically focusing on the content of training modalities and the effects on trunk and upper limb performance.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Two electronic databases were used: PubMed and Web Of Science (WOS). Intervention studies (with- and without control group) published in English, investigating the effects of active trunk training on trunk and upper limb performance in pwMS, were included.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Sixteen studies met the criteria, investigating different rehabilitation modalities. The included interventions in the review varied between more generic postural interventions such as Pilates (N.=8) and Ai Chi (N.=1), with a focus on abdominal muscle activation, breathing, neutral position and lower extremity movements. Further, specifically developed trunk training programs like GroupCoreDIST/ SIT / CoDuSe (N.=6) and Bobath based trunk training (N.=1) are detected, with the main focus on trunk strengthening and dynamic movements. An overall improvement in trunk performance was reported in several tests on trunk strength, stability and coordination. While the majority of the programs integrated the upper limb, only half of them used upper limb outcome measures to evaluate the effect. Here, overall significant improvements were found for the upper limb.
CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review showed that different types of trunk training programs can improve trunk and upper limb function in PwMS. The findings of this review suggest that a focus on trunk training to achieve effects on upper limb is reasonable. Future research is needed to further explore relations and the effect sizes.

KEY WORDS: Multiple sclerosis; Rehabilitation; Upper extremity

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