PRACTICE REPORT: PDF OnlyAn Aquatic and Land-Based Physical Therapy Intervention to Improve Functional Mobility for an Individual after an Incomplete C6 Spinal Cord LesionStowell, Thomas; Fuller, Ron; Fulk, GeorgeAuthor Information Thomas Stowell, DC, PT, Assistant Professor, PT Program, Notre Dame College, Manchester, NH, [email protected] Ron Fuller, PTA, BA, HealthSouth Rehab Hospital, Concord, NH, [email protected] George Fulk, PT, MS, Assistant Professor, PT Program, Notre Dame College, Manchester, NH, [email protected] Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy: Fall 2001 - Volume 9 - Issue 1 - p 27-32 Buy Abstract Background and Purpose: Current gait training interventions promote the use of body weight support treadmill training. The reciprocal gait motion that occurs with this type of training encourages locomotor neuroplastic changes at the spinal cord level. Aquatic therapy is another method of performing reciprocal gait motion exercise. This case study describes the effect of aquatic and land based physical therapy intervention for an individual with an incomplete C6 spinal cord lesion one year following his injury. Case Description: The patient was a 20-year-old male with an incomplete C6 spinal cord injury. He completed four months of physical therapy intervention consisting of aquatic and land based gait training. Outcome measures included maximal distance of ambulation and amount of assistance required, American Spinal Cord Injury Association (ASIA) lower extremity scores, and surface electromyography (sEMG) lower extremity measurements of key muscles on land and in the water. Outcomes: Ambulation improved while total ASIA lower extremity scores decreased by two. Surface electromyography (sEMG) lower extremity measurements improved by 60%. Discussion: Functional improvement is possible after one year post injury in a young male with an incomplete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) and occurred in the absence of increasing MMT scores. The clinical aquatic environment appears to be an efficient method of incorporating multiple therapeutic activities within the time constraints of a single therapy session. Further research is needed to identify the optimal use of integrated aquatic and land-based therapy programs for this population and to evaluate the clinical role of sEMG measurements in the rehabilitation of patients with SCI. © 2001 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.