Yoga, aquatic exercise can help combat multiple sclerosis symptoms

  • ANI, Washington DC
  • Updated: May 04, 2016 15:11 IST
The study showed MS patients who did yoga and aquatic exercises suffered less from fatigue and depression. (Shutterstock)

There’s some good news for people suffering from multiple sclerosis (a disease of the nervous system that damages neurons). Researchers have found a way to reduce your multiple sclerosis flare-ups. A new study has shown that yoga and aquatic exercise can help deal with certain symptoms of this disease.

Patients who do yoga and aquatic exercise suffer less from fatigue, depression and paresthesia, as reported by researchers from the University of Basel, Switzerland and the Psychiatric University Clinics Basel in a joint study with colleagues in Iran.

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In a random trial, researchers showed that these symptoms significantly improved after an eight-week programme of yoga and aquatic exercise. In comparison to the control group, fatigue, depression and paresthesia were significantly reduced in patients who took part in a three-time weekly training programme.

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Exercise training programmes should be considered in the future as possible complements to standard MS treatments, say researchers. (Shutterstock)

In the non-exercising group, the likelihood of moderate to severe depression was 35-fold higher than in the groups who had done yoga or aquatic exercise.

Read: Scientists find way to stop multiple sclerosis

Fifty-four women with MS and an average age of 34 were assigned to one of three groups: yoga, aquatic exercise or no exercise. Before and after the trial, patients were asked to complete a questionnaire about their symptoms. All patients continued with their existing treatment, including any medication taken to regulate the immune system.

“Exercise training programmes should be considered in the future as possible complements to standard MS treatments,” write the researchers.

The study appears in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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