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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1998 Jan;27(1):32-41.

Aquatic-based rehabilitation and training for the elite athlete.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin Clinics Research Park, Sports Medicine Center, Madison 53711, USA.


Elite athletes are competing for longer seasons, training more hours, and taking less time off. This schedule may predispose the elite athlete to overuse injuries. When an injury occurs, aquatic-based rehabilitation may expedite the recovery process, as effective cardiovascular and musculoskeletal training may be accomplished by aquatic exercise. The pool may be used both during rehabilitation and postrecovery as an adjunctive tool. Knowledge of the unique physical properties of water, as well as the physiological responses to immersion both at rest and during exercise, will aid the physical therapist when designing a rehabilitation or training program for the athlete. Understanding the principles of movement in water will provide a foundation for creative use of water's unique properties.

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