Research: heat and excersise

Epub: Skjerbæk et al. Heat sensitive persons with multiple sclerosis are more tolerant to resistance exercise than to endurance exercise. Mult Scler. 2012 Nov.

BACKGROUND: Heat sensitivity is reported by 58% of all MSers, causing symptom exacerbation possibly limiting exercise participation.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to test the hypotheses that (a) a relationship between exercise-induced changes in core-temperature and changes in symptom intensity exists, and (b) that resistance exercise, as a consequence of a minor increase in core temperature, will induce a lesser worsening of symptoms than endurance exercise in heat sensitive MSers.

METHODS: On two separate days, 16 heat sensitive MSers randomly completed a session of resistance exercise and endurance exercise or endurance exercise and resistance exercise respectively. Testing was conducted pre, post and one hour after exercise and consisted of Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scoring (fatigue, spasticity, pain, strength, walking and balance), the 5-time sit-to-stand (5STS), the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) and Body Sway. Composite scores describing average subjective symptom intensity and total number of symptoms were calculated from VAS scores.

RESULTS: Core-temperature (0.9±0.4°C vs 0.3±0.1°C, p<0.001), subjective symptom intensity 1.7±1.9 cm vs 0.6±1.5 cm, p<0.05) and total number of symptoms (1.6±1.9 vs 0.6±2.1, p<0.05) increased significantly more during endurance exercise than resistance exercise. Changes in core-temperature correlated to changes in symptom intensity (r=0.50, p<0.01). No differences were observed in 5STS, MSFC and Body Sway scores after endurance exercise when compared to resistance exercise.

CONCLUSION: An exercise-induced increase in core-temperature is associated with increased number and severity of perceived symptoms in heat sensitive MSers. Based on these findings it is expected that heat sensitive MSers do tolerate resistance exercise better than endurance exercise.

“This study demonstrates how sensitive some MSers are to changes in temperature. Are you? An important question that needs answering in relation to this problem is does these transient changes in temperature-induced changes in neurological function damage and speed up neurodegeneration in the affected pathways. Previous work on the hot-bath tests suggest it may. This clearly needs to be established so that we can advise MSers on what the best course of action to take in relation to exercise and heat.”

The other post of interestMultiple Sclerosis Research: Hot bath test; 11 Jun 2012

Poll of the week

9 thoughts on “Research: heat and excersise”

  1. What about extreme cold? Many MSers report problems when they are outdoors in winter. Why does that happen? Do these problems happen even if the MSer wears a lot of winter clothing?I'm trying to decide if a trip to a snowy place that requires being outdoors all day will be unwise

  2. is it cold or is it being outdoors in snow. I find that whatever my temperature walking in snowy condition can affect my balance. My physio suggested that the lack of nice horizontal horizons, the poor feedback through feet because if slipperiness of snow and ice all contribute to discomfort and balance problems. Of curse once I'm on skis it's better as no-one relies on those cues when skiing

    1. The main concern is about being outdoors in the snow all day (walking, trying to learn how to ski).It will be the first exposure to such weather.

    2. before disabling effects of SPMS kicked in..difficulty walking..I suffered no ill effects from cold temperatures, indeed learnt to ski at 47. cant do it now because of huge effort needed to get to top of run in first place!

    3. I am not aware of cold exacerbating things. Being outdoors in the cold doesn't mean you don't get warm; any exercise raises your temperature and your body dissipates it. Being wrapped up often prevents you losing excessive heat.

    4. The responses here (and other sites too) got me worried

  3. I have found resistance machines (air pressure not weights) at Gymophobics to be good for me. Cant do endurance exercise as get too hot/tired but tailor made resistance exercises with a short cycling cardio (3 mins) start works for me. And if I do yoga too even better but have got out of habit..

  4. This is actually very important research to establish if short-term heat is detrimental to axons or not – I like to dance, for example, and if I dance for too long I always ask myself if I am somehow harming myself. Would be great to have clarity on that.

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