In a nutshell
This study investigated the effects of hydrotherapy (HT; physical exercises in a pool) on balance, movements, and quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Researchers suggested that HT may improve the treatment of these patients.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common disease around the world that affects brain cells. Muscle rigidity, tremors, and impaired balance are some of the typical symptoms. These symptoms combined with the fear of falling may lead patients to have a sedentary lifestyle (much sitting and less physical exercise). Altogether this may affect the quality of life of patients with PD as well as of their caregivers.
The standard treatments for PD are associated with long-term side effects. Moreover, prior studies showed that physical exercise can slow down PD progression.
HT is used as a rehabilitation for different conditions. The water helps to maintain the body in a standing position and reduce the risk of falls when compared to land-based exercise. Furthermore, warm water helps to reduce muscle rigidity which is common in patients with PD. However, the effects of HT on these patients are not completely understood.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed 19 other studies. It included 484 patients with PD. The main outcome measured was the change in body movement and balance.
HT improved the treatment outcomes of patients with PD when combined or not with land-based therapy. Patients saw significant improvements in balance and functional movements. However, it did not improve the quality of life of patients.
The bottom line
This study concluded that HT may be a good option for patients with PD who have impaired body movements and balance and a high risk of falling.
Published By :
PM & R: the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation
Mar 01, 2019
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