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PM R. 2009 Sep;1(9):859-72. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2009.05.017.

Aquatic therapy: scientific foundations and clinical rehabilitation applications.

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Washington State University, National Aquatics and Sports Medicine Institute, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Spokane WA 99224, USA.


The aquatic environment has broad rehabilitative potential, extending from the treatment of acute injuries through health maintenance in the face of chronic diseases, yet it remains an underused modality. There is an extensive research base supporting aquatic therapy, both within the basic science literature and clinical literature. This article describes the many physiologic changes that occur during immersion as applied to a range of common rehabilitative issues and problems. Because of its wide margin of therapeutic safety and clinical adaptability, aquatic therapy is a very useful tool in the rehabilitative toolbox. Through a better understanding of the applied physiology, the practitioner may structure appropriate therapeutic programs for a diverse patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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