To step or not to step: Weight bearing exercise better than non-weight bearing says study

Congratulations to Mike Mueller and coworkers at Wash-U on this intriguing RCT.

When prescribing exercise to people with neuropathy: it appears that WB > NWB in terms of increases in step count and even glucose control.

Weight-bearing versus nonweight-bearing exercise for persons with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy: a randomized controlled trial.

Source

Program in Physical Therapy and Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA. muellerm@wustl.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effects of weight-bearing (WB) versus nonweight-bearing (NWB) exercise for persons with diabetes mellitus (DM) and peripheral neuropathy (PN).

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial with evaluations at baseline and after intervention.

SETTING:

University-based physical therapy research clinic.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants with DM and PN (N=29) (mean age ± SD, 64.5±12.5y; mean body mass index [kg/m(2)] ± SD, 35.5±7.3) were randomly assigned to WB (n=15) and NWB (n=14) exercise groups. All participants (100%) completed the intervention and follow-up evaluations.

INTERVENTIONS:

Group-specific progressive balance, flexibility, strengthening, and aerobic exercise conducted sitting or lying (NWB) or standing and walking (WB) occurred 3 times a week for 12 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Measures included the 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) and daily step counts. Secondary outcome measures represented domains across the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.

RESULTS:

The WB group showed greater gains than the NWB group over time on the 6MWD and average daily step count (P<.05). The mean and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) between-group difference over time was 29m (95% CI, 6-51) for the 6MWD and 1178 (95% CI, 150-2205) steps for the average daily step count. The NWB group showed greater improvements than the WB group over time in hemoglobin A1c values (P<.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study indicate the ability of this population with chronic disease to increase 6MWD and daily step count with a WB exercise program compared with an NWB exercise program.

David G. Armstrong

Dedicated to amputation prevention, wound healing, diabetic foot, biotechnology and the intersection between medical devices and consumer electronics.

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