Pérez de la Cruz (2017) Effectiveness of aquatic therapy for the control of pain and increased functionality in people with Parkinson’s disease; A randomized clinical trial

Introduction to Aquatic Therapy in Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is marked by significant challenges, including gait and balance disorders, escalating the risk of falls and physical decline. An often-overlooked symptom is pain, arising from rigidity, restless leg syndrome, or dystonias. As the disease progresses, pain can stem from dyskinesia, akathisia, or off-period dystonia. Addressing these symptoms through effective therapeutic measures is crucial for enhancing the quality of life in affected individuals.

Study Overview: Aquatic Ai Chi’s Impact
This randomized clinical trial by Sagrario Pérez de la Cruz delves into the effectiveness of aquatic therapy, specifically an Ai Chi training program, in mitigating pain and improving balance and functional independence in Parkinson’s disease patients. Conducted in Spain, the study involved thirty participants from Parkinson’s associations, engaging in either aquatic Ai Chi or dry land therapy over ten weeks.

Findings and Clinical Implications
The study revealed significant improvements in pain perception and balance as measured by the Tinetti Test in the aquatic therapy group compared to the control group. These benefits were sustained at a one-month follow-up, highlighting the potential of aquatic Ai Chi as a viable treatment option for mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease. The therapy’s emphasis on rhythmic, coordinated movements in a buoyant, low-impact aquatic environment may contribute to these positive outcomes.

Concluding Thoughts
Aquatic Ai Chi presents a promising therapeutic avenue for Parkinson’s disease patients, offering relief from pain and enhancements in balance and functionality. This intervention aligns with the need for innovative, effective treatments that address the multifaceted challenges of Parkinson’s disease, paving the way for improved patient care and quality of life.

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