Vivas J (2011) Aquatic Therapy Versus Conventional Land Based Therapy for Parkinsons Disease An Open-Label Pilot Study

Introduction to Aquatic and Land-Based Therapies for Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder that impairs movement and balance. Traditional physiotherapy has been a cornerstone in managing PD symptoms, yet its efficacy needs further exploration. This pilot study by Vivas, Arias, and Cudeiro compares the effects of aquatic therapy and conventional land-based therapy on postural stability and self-movement in individuals with PD.

Study Design and Methods

This randomized, controlled, open-label pilot trial involved 11 participants with idiopathic PD in stages 2 or 3. They were divided into two groups: one undergoing land-based therapy and the other aquatic therapy. Each group participated in individual sessions twice a week for 4 weeks, with each session lasting 45 minutes. The study aimed to assess the feasibility of these programs for larger trials and establish methodological progression within the program.

Key Findings and Results

The study found improvements in postural stability for both therapy groups, with a significant enhancement observed in the aquatic therapy group, especially in the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). These findings suggest that aquatic therapy may offer additional benefits over land-based therapy for improving postural stability and reducing PD symptoms.

Implications and Conclusion

This pilot study highlights the potential of aquatic therapy as a valuable adjunct to traditional land-based physiotherapy for PD patients. The controlled environment of water provides a safe and supportive medium that may enhance therapeutic outcomes. The study’s methodological approach, focusing on progression criteria within the program, offers a framework for future larger-scale trials to further validate the efficacy of aquatic therapy in PD management.

This research opens avenues for incorporating aquatic therapy into PD rehabilitation, emphasizing the need for personalized and multifaceted treatment strategies to optimize patient outcomes and improve quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Keywords: Aquatic therapy, land-based therapy, Parkinson’s Disease, postural stability, physiotherapy protocols, pilot study.

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