Table of Contents
Volume 2012, Article ID 895495, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Tolerance of an Aquatic Power Training Program by Older Adults with Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis

1Departments of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, Radiology and Epidemiology, The University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, 0728 JPP, Iowa City, IA 52242-1088, USA
2Department of Epidemiology, The University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, 0728 JPP, Iowa City, IA 52242-1088, USA

Received 31 May 2012; Accepted 9 August 2012

Academic Editor: Bruce M. Rothschild

Copyright © 2012 Neil A. Segal and Robert Wallace. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To determine the tolerance and feasibility of aquatic-based power training for improving lower limb muscle power, impairments, and mobility in adults with symptomatic knee OA. Participants. Twenty-nine adults, age 50 years and over, with symptomatic knee OA (ACR clinical criteria) and mobility limitation (400-meter walk time slower than median for sex and decade) completed 45-minute aquatic power training sessions twice weekly for 6 weeks. Main Outcome Measurements. Prospective outcomes included tolerance of the program, as well as change in stair climb power, 400-meter walk time, overall and knee-specific pain, activities of daily living (ADL), quality of life (QOL), and lower limb function at 6- and 12-week follow-up. Results. The training intensity required modification for 9 of the 29 participants. Lower limb muscle power, ADL, QOL, and overall pain were improved immediately and 6 weeks following completion (all 𝑃 < 0 . 0 5 ). However, 400-meter walk times, and lower limb function did not differ from baseline. Conclusions. A 6-week aquatic rehabilitation program appears to be well tolerated by adults with symptomatic knee OA with mobility limitations and may result in improved lower limb muscle power, symptoms, ADL, and QOL. However, this intervention may have insufficient specificity or intensity for improving physical function.