Morer (2020) Evaluation of the Feasibility of a Two-Week Course of Aquatic Therapy and Thalassotherapy in a Mild Post-Stroke Population

Summary: Aquatic Therapy and Thalassotherapy for Post-Stroke Rehabilitation

Introduction to Stroke Rehabilitation

Strokes, leading to significant disabilities, demand effective rehabilitation to enhance physical, mental, and quality of life aspects. Despite various interventions, a consensus on the most effective rehabilitation method remains elusive. Aquatic therapy, especially in a thalassotherapeutic setting, might offer beneficial outcomes for post-stroke patients, proposing a unique rehabilitation environment through the therapeutic use of seawater and its minerals.

Study Objective and Methodology

This study aimed to evaluate the impact of a two-week intensive aquatic therapy and thalassotherapy program on mild post-stroke patients. Conducted as a quasi-experimental prospective study, it involved 62 participants undergoing daily 45-minute sessions of aquatic therapy in a thalassotherapy center. Key outcome measures included the Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go test, and various assessments of walking capability, pain levels, and general well-being.

Findings and Improvements

Post-intervention, significant improvements were observed across most evaluated parameters, indicating enhanced balance, mobility, reduced pain, and better overall well-being. Notably, the aquatic and thalassotherapy combination showed promising short-term benefits in functional status and pain reduction, contributing positively to the patients’ rehabilitation process.

Conclusion and Implications

The findings suggest that a focused regimen of aquatic therapy and thalassotherapy can be a viable addition to post-stroke rehabilitation, particularly in improving physical functions and quality of life. This study underscores the need for further research to integrate such therapeutic approaches into standard rehabilitation practices, highlighting the potential benefits of natural therapeutic environments in stroke recovery.

Keywords: aquatic therapy; thalassotherapy; stroke; balance; gait; pain; quality of life

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