Study: High-Intensity Aquatic Exercise Helps OA

October 14th, 2014
by Kathy Kres, YAH & Water Aerobics Director, Personal Trainer

water walker

New research has confirmed another healing benefit of aquatic exercise. A study recently published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, has documented the benefits of high-intensity aquatic exercise for those with osteoarthritis. “Having osteoarthritis patients walking against a systematically high and low resistance in water resulted in significant reductions in pain, improved mobility, balance and function,” said Eadric Bressel, Ph.D, in a press release from the National Swimming Pool Foundation. Dr. Bressel, professor and clinical research scientist at Utah State University, led the study, which included 18 participants approximately between the ages of 54 and 74. During the course of the six-week study they all underwent three aquatic exercise sessions per week on an aquatic treadmill, varying high and how resistance. Joint pain, balance, function and mobility were tested before and after, with documented improvements. “No other land-based training has been able to successfully implement high-intensity aerobic workouts for patients with osteoarthritis, likely because the aquatic environment created a reduced fear of falling, lowered joint loads, and provided three-dimensional support to help maintain balance,” notes the press release.

source: Aquatics International 2014