Pilot randomized trial of progressive resistance exercise augmented by neuromuscular electrical stimulation for people with multiple sclerosis who use walking aids

The goal of this study was to examine the practicability and preliminary outcomes of a home progressive resistance training (PRT) program augmented by neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Only change in MFIS score was significantly higher in the NMES group than the PRT group (P=.012). The NMES group improved significantly in quadriceps endurance (median of change, 8.5; P=.043), balance (median of change, 3.5; P=.001), physical impact of MS (median of change, -8.3; P=.001), and impact of fatigue (median of change, -17; P=.001). Participants rated the device as highly usable.

This pilot study indicates that a home PRT program with NMES is feasible, and the neuromuscular electrical stimulation device is usable by this population. Only reduction in impact of fatigue was greater in the NMES than the PRT group.