Aquatic exercise programs can incorporate large muscle activity in the lower extremities with full range of motion and minimal joint stress, and result in fewer musculoskeletal injuries.
The purposes of this literature review were to review available aquatic therapy literature in treating orthopedic lower extremity injuries and to identify gaps in the current body of knowledge to determine further research needs.
Relevant articles were searched on main databases. All articles were then reviewed, standardized by title, author, journal, year, subject number and characteristics, purpose and type of study, methods, results, and limitations, and analyzed.
The articles evaluated demonstrated that aquatic physical therapy is beneficial in reducing pain and increasing quality of life, range of motion, joint extensibility, and strength. The studies also reported water and land based interventions used together are more effective in treating lower extremity injuries than land based interventions alone.