Practicing yoga and performing aquatic therapy exercises may help curb multiple sclerosis symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and paresthesia, according to researchers.

Scientists from the University of Basel and the Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, along with colleagues from Iran, performed a random trial. Participants included 54 women (average age: 34 years) with multiple sclerosis who were assigned to perform either yoga or aquatic exercise three times a week, or no exercise, for 8 weeks.

Before and after the 8-week period, the participants were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their symptoms. They were also instructed to continue with their existing treatment, including any medications, during the trial, according to a media release from Universität Basel.

The researchers suggest in the release that, in comparison to the control (no exercise) group, those who participated in yoga or aquatic therapy saw a significant reduction in their fatigue, depression, and paresthesia symptoms.

Also, according to the researchers, among the participants who did not exercise, the likelihood of moderate to severe depression was 35-fold higher than those who performed yoga or aquatic therapy.

“Exercise training programs should be considered in the future as possible complements to standard MS treatments,” the researchers conclude in the release.

The study was published recently in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

[Source(s): Universität Basel, Science Daily]