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Investigating the impact of a spinal mobilisation intervention in people with multiple sclerosis

Hamilton, Rebecca 2020. Investigating the impact of a spinal mobilisation intervention in people with multiple sclerosis. PhD Thesis, Edinburgh Napier University.

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Background: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has many disabling symptoms due to weakened signal propagation in the central nervous system. Manual therapeutics are often seen to have a positive effect on these symptoms with limited information as to why. The purpose of this project was to investigate a spinal mobilisation intervention, objectively measuring the changes it may be causing to muscle quality and movement patterns as a contribution to research in MS therapeutics. Methods: A series of 3 studies were designed to investigate the effects of a spinal mobilisation intervention on muscle quality and movement patterns. Study 1 tested people with lower back pain (LBP) as a pilot population (n=40), testing for an immediate effect on muscle quality. Study 2 replicated this with MS patients (n=20) assessing muscle quality, balance, and pain. Study 3 tested the intervention in a longer-term 4 bout study (n=20), assessing muscle quality, balance, pain, and fatigue. Results: Significant muscle stiffness reductions were seen in the LBP population post the intervention (p = 0.01, η2partial = 0.15). Baseline stiffness was found as a significant contributor (p = 0.002, R2 = 0.22). These muscular results were not replicated with the MS population. However, significant improvements in self-reported pain as a result of the intervention were revealed (p = 0.008, η 2partial = 0.33). Study 3 findings demonstrated significant improvements from baseline in balance and fatigue measures as a result of the intervention. High variability in the data are seen within the MS population. Conclusions: Four sessions were not sufficient to elicit a significant response in muscle quality as a result of the intervention in an MS population. However, significant improvements in balance and fatigue were revealed. Given the variability from the MS population, it is necessary to undertake a longer-term study and normalise baseline muscle quality values.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Funders: Medical Research Scotland, Pacla Medical
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 September 2021
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2022 09:39

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