Aquatic physiotherapy in the functional capacity of elderly with knee osteoarthritis

Fernando Pereira Garbi, Paulo Roberto Rocha Júnior, Natália de Souza Pontes, Andressa de Oliveira, Glauber de Oliveira Barduzzi, Paulo José Fortes Villas Boas


Introduction: Physiotherapy in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) acts to decrease pain, increase joint functionality and to promote improvement in quality of life. Objective: To analyze the effect of a structured program of aquatic physiotherapy (AP) on functional capacity (FC) and mobility of elderly people with OA. Methods: Prospective, quantitative and analytical, randomized control study. The sample consisted of 29 patients, aged 60 years or over, diagnosed with OA, randomly allocated to the intervention group, composed of 17 participants who underwent BP for two months, and to the control group of 12 participants. The primary outcome (HR) was measured by the WOMAC instruments and six-minute walk test. As a secondary endpoint, the "Timed Up and Go Test" measured mobility. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to present the data, with mean and standard deviation values. The comparison between groups for potential confounding factors and in relation to evolution was performed using the non-parametric chi-square test, Fisher's exact test and the Kruskal-Wallis test, and Dunn's test for multiple comparisons. The differences were considered statistically significant when p < 0.05. Results: There was a significant difference in physical and functional parameters related to pain (p < 0.001), stiffness (p < 0.001) physical activity (p < 0.001), distance covered in six minutes (p = 0.001) and mobility (p < 0.001) when comparing IG to CG. Conclusion: The structured PA program effectively contributed to the improvement of FC and mobility of elderly people with knee OA.


Aged. Osteoarthritis. Physical therapy modalities.

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