Date of Award

6-2004

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (to 2011)

First Advisor

Dr. Michael G. Miller

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Ricard

Third Advisor

Dr. Donna Ritenour

Fourth Advisor

Brenda L. Chapman

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Aquatic therapy has gained a wide scale of acceptance as a method of treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological disorders, disabling pain conditions, and balance deficits allowing a patient to perform a comprehensive rehabilitative program in a low impact environment. The purpose of the study was to determine if differences exist among static and dynamic balance measurements following training in an aquatic environment compared to land. Subjects (17=Female, ?=Male) were divided into a control group and two training groups: land or aquatic. Each group performed measurements of balance using testing positions based upon the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS). A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed no difference among the groups. Pretest (5.86±2.25 cm) was significantly different than 2 weeks (5.20±1.93 cm), 4 weeks (4.73±1.77 cm) and 6 weeks (4.90±1.67 cm). A significant difference was also found among the testing conditions with Single Leg stance (4.03±1.78 cm) and Tandem (4.57±1.89 cm) more difficult to perform than Single Leg foam (5.27±1.30 cm) and Tandem foam (6.83±1.30 cm). When referring to a healthy individual, our study concludes that either land or aquatic environments may be beneficial.

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