#CMSC17 – Single Session of Ball-throwing Exercise Improves Balance Control in MS, Study Shows

#CMSC17 – Single Session of Ball-throwing Exercise Improves Balance Control in MS, Study Shows

Patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) regain part of their balance control after a single training session of ball-throwing exercises, finds a study supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Researchers presented their study, “A Single-Session Training of Ball Throwing Exercise Improves Balance Control in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis,” at the  2017 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), taking place May 24-27 in New Orleans.

One of the initial disabling symptoms reported by MS patients is impaired balance control. That puts them at risk of major falls, contributing to a steep decline in their mobility and activity levels — and pointing to the need for new rehabilitation approaches to improve balance control among people with MS.

In the study, a team of researchers sought to assess “the feasibility of short-term training in improvement of anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) and its effect on subsequent control of posture in individuals with MS.”

APAs, along with compensatory postural adjustments, are the two principal mechanisms the central nervous system uses to maintain equilibrium while standing.

Researchers recruited eight RRMS patients and submitted them to tests before and after a single training session consisting of throwing a medicine ball. They measured outcomes using electromyography (EMG) of trunk and leg muscles, and center of pressure (COP) displacements before and immediately after a single training session. In EMG, an electromyograph records electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles.

The training session led to a significant improvement of leg and trunk muscle activity prior to the bilateral arm flexion task, as shown by an increasing number of APAs. Moreover, patients showed early activation of postural muscles and significantly larger EMG outcomes after training in most of the muscles. They also showed improvements in COP displacements after training.

Overall, the team concluded, “individuals with MS can improve their ability to use predictive responses for postural control after a single-session training. The observed training-related improvements of balance control suggest that focused rehabilitation could be effective in improving postural control and as a result enhance mobility and quality of life in individuals with MS.”


  1. Don Schlientz says:

    I would like to get more details about the study: how long, how many reps, nature of throwing, ages and condion of those in the study,dtc.

  2. ColleenPeters says:

    Could someone send me (or post) a brief description of what was involved in a single session of throwing a medicine ball? ie. how far/how many times was the ball thrown?
    thank you!

  3. I would like to read the actual study paper about A Single Session Ball Throwing Exercise Improves Balance Control in Individuals with MS but cannot find the paper in the 2017 CMSC

  4. Bonnie Blake says:

    I would like to integrate this in my exercise program. I have access to what is needed but want to know about how many repetitions of throwing the ball and how many sets during the session.

  5. Tami Tropp says:

    Please tell me how to use this exercise And how often. My Dr has not heard of this, and said I should do my own research. Thank you for your time

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