Chambers (2023) The Benefits of Aquatic Exercise & Therapy for Individuals with Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Summary: Aquatic Exercise Benefits for Knee Osteoarthritis

Background and Rationale

Aquatic exercise emerges as a beneficial alternative for those unable to perform land-based exercises, particularly the elderly who often suffer from knee pain due to osteoarthritis. This condition is a leading cause of functional limitation. Aquatic exercises, such as aqua cycling, aerobics, functional weight-bearing exercises, and strength training, have been found effective in managing osteoarthritis-related pain, improving mobility, quality of life, and mental health​​.

Research Methods

The reviewed studies evaluated the impact of aquatic exercises on individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Assessments covered pain, physical function, quality of life, strength, fear of movement, depression levels, self-efficacy, walking speed, body weight, and walking distance. Exercise modalities varied, with session durations ranging from 45-60 minutes and program lengths extending from 6 to 12 weeks​​.

Outcomes Observed

Regardless of the exercise modality, decreased pain was a consistent result across all studies. Notably, aqua cycling and functional weight-bearing exercises improved physical function and quality of life. Strength training sessions notably enhanced walking speed and distance. Moreover, participants reported increased strength, reduced fear of movement, depression, body weight, and heightened self-efficacy following various aquatic exercises​​.

Conclusion and Application

To conclude aquatic exercises, including cycling, aerobics, weight-bearing, and strength training, effectively manage knee osteoarthritis. They contribute to reduced pain, increased functionality, and enhanced mental state and quality of life. Exercise prescriptions should be tailored to individual needs, incorporating preferred modalities for optimal functional and mental outcomes. A comprehensive approach, including a warm-up and cool-down phase, pain-free movement, and exercising in warm water, is recommended for managing knee osteoarthritis through aquatic exercises​​.

Keyphrase: Aquatic Exercise for Knee Osteoarthritis Management

Important Keywords: Osteoarthritis, Aquatic Exercise, Knee Pain, Aqua Cycling, Functional Weight-Bearing Exercise, Strength Training, Physical Function, Quality of Life, Mental Health, Pain Management.

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