Aquatic physiotherapy and fall risk in elderly

Is training in water more effective than conventional physiotherapy to improve outcomes?

Aging involves a series of physiological changes in the human body, leading to progressive deterioration of most of its systems and, in the end, to alteration of functions and activities in the daily life of the elderly. Due to the degradation of the functions ensuring the integrity of balance, particularly in the sensory, neural and musculoskeletal system, the risk of falling in this vulnerable population increases, resulting in higher morbidity and mortality.

Various interventions are used to limit these effects and prevent fall risk from increasing. Conventional physiotherapy has shown its effectiveness through – among others – balance, gait and strength training. The effects of aquatic physiotherapy in terms of balance have been less studied, while such techniques showed some benefits with regard to mobility and postural stability.

The present study assessed the effectiveness of aquatic physiotherapy compared to conventional therapy in improving limitations and inabilities due to lack of balance in the elderly. If both interventions are efficient, aquatic therapy may have several interesting advantages.


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