Background:

Although there is emerging evidence that aerobic training improves walking capacity in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), data are limited about the potential benefits of Nordic walking (NW) for this population. This study evaluates the effectiveness of outdoor NW training on walking capacity and related quality of life for people with MS compared with cycloergometer and treadmill aerobic training.

Methods:

A single-blinded (evaluator), randomized, 2-arm clinical trial was designed.

Results:

A total of 57 patients with MS (38 women and 19 men; mean ± SD age, 51.98 ± 9.93 years; mean ± SD disease duration, 14.75 ± 8.52 years) were included. Both therapeutic modalities improved walking distance as measured by the 6-Minute Walk Test after the training period. The NW group showed significant improvement on the physical and emotional subscales of the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life–54 compared with the cycloergometer and treadmill group, which showed improvement only on the physical subscale.

Conclusions:

Both training modalities proved to be of equal benefit in improving the walking capacity of people with MS, but outdoor NW training also seems to have a beneficial effect on the emotional component of health-related quality of life.

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