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Aquatic physiotherapy and shoulder rehabilitation for rotator cuff injuries.

  • Source: Aqualines: The Journal of the Hydrotherapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists . 2012, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p6-16. 11p. 6 Charts.
  • Author(s): Wagner, Deborah
  • Abstract: Purpose: To perform a search of literature to identify evidence that exists to support the effective use of aquatic physiotherapy as a treatment technique for rotator cuff injuries. Background: One of the most common causes of pain and disability in the shoulder is the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff contributes to glenohumeral movement and functions as a dynamic stabiliser of the shoulder joint, supporting the capsule and preventing excessive anterior and posterior shearing. Aquatic physiotherapy is one of several treatment methods used for shoulder rehabilitation following rotator cuff injuries. It is believed that the warm water and buoyancy facilitates shoulder mobility, reduces pain and improves scapulohumeral rhythm. Method: A literature review of online databases was conducted to evaluate available research for the use of aquatic physiotherapy as a treatment technique for rotator cuff injuries. Results: no double blinded randomized controlled trials, one case study, one feasibility study, one pilot study, one literature review and four clinical opinions. Conclusion: The findings suggest that there is some evidence to support the use of aquatic physiotherapy for treatment of rotator cuff injuries however this conclusion has been based on studies of lower scientific merit. There is a definite need for further study within the area of aquatic physiotherapy and shoulder rehabilitation for rotator cuff injuries.
  • Copyright of Aqualines: The Journal of the Hydrotherapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists is the property of Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract.

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Posted by on in Equipment

Therapy equipmentGrand Opening coming up? Starting a new aquatic practice? Here is a list of our recommended items to consider for your Aquatic Therapy Equipment Starter Kit. All prices reflect our current listings on and are subject to change without notice. Things to think about before ordering for your facility include pool size, max concurrent sessions, patient census and budget.

Sprint Minimum Resistance Bells, Min Resistance (#729) (1 set at $26.20)

Sprint AquaSprinter Belt (#700) (1 large @ $29.50) (for positioning on back)

Sprint BodyFit Collar (#707) (1 @ $29.99)

Sprint Velcro Neoprene Gloves (#783) (1 medium @ $14.95)

Sprint Velcro Neoprene Gloves (#783) (1 xtra large @ $14.95)

Sprint Dive Sticks (#199) (2 sets @ $7.10) (for fine motor manipulation during gross motor acts in pool)

Sprint Egg Flipps (#158) (3 sets @ $8.75) (for oral motor training and respiratory challenges)

Sprint Flow Through Mat Small (#704) (1 @ $55.00) (for UE weight bearing, prone positioning and more)
Polyspots (2 sets of 6 @ $26.60)

AquaLogix Bells (1 set of large @ $94.40)

Kiefer Adjustable Foam Swim Collar (#620009) (1 @ $50.00)

Tagged in: equipment
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Posted by on in Uncategorized


At the completion of her final 2-week Intensive class on Wednesday, Fezia Tyebally became the world's first Aquatic Therapy Professional℠. This credential was newly created by Aquatic Therapy University as a way to recogonize those non-therapists who complete 84 hours of aquatic therapy classes. Fezia is a massage and sacralcranial therapist from Malaysia and has been in Knoxville, TN for the last two weeks to sharpen her already extensive skill set in pediatric aquatic therapy. Fezia has a 16-year old special needs child whom she treats, along with others, in her own clinicin Kuala Lampur. In addition to broadening her client base, Fezia also plans to use her award to advance the state of aquatic therapy in her island nation.

ATU's next 2-week Intensive is meeting in Minneapolis in August. It is being attended by students from Hong Kong and Puerto Rico and is open for registration.

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You've heard every rationale in the book from payers who want to discontinue aquatic therapy.

--"It's not functional; people don't live in the water"

--"6-8 visits to teach the exercises, then an immediate transition to land"

--"You don't need a skilled therapist to teach water aerobics." (my personal favorite)

So, when the day comes when a gorgeous piece of literature comes out which makes the case for aquatic therapy -- and that case is not just (unequivocally) pro-aquatic therapy, but pro-starting-as-early-as-4-days-post-op, well, it's time to celebrate.

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Posted by on in ATU

b2ap3_thumbnail_teacherkid-at-chalkboard.jpgBeen wanting a polyclinic but been having pocketbook issues? We haven't forgotten about you. We have been wracking our brain trying to come up with alternative ways to bring ATU to your sites and we may have come up with one! It is called Instructor-In-Residence and would involve one of your own staff teaching your class instead of one of ours. Result? A polyclinic that costs half the standard rate.

Interested? Here's how it would work; you or your director would hand-pick a bright experienced therapist, who has an affinity to teach, and send them to us for a 3-day I Want to Teach! class (cost=$1000). After passing Andrea's stringent vetting process, the therapist would then be returned to you with a license to teach our content in-house for any and as many times as you wish. We would offer free support and tips throughout the year and when it came time for a new class, we would just repeat the process the following year.

Bad News: you miss out on ATU's stable of sterling world-renown instructors.
Good News: your polyclinic now only costs $3600 ($2600 if you agree to open it up to outsiders and you sent us a therapist with a Masters or above).

While this concept obviously isn't for everyone, it is an option we are offering to cost-conscious sites who have contacted us in the past. What do you think? Might this work in your situation? Do you have a bubbly effervescent aquatic evangelist who would love to teach? Please discuss this amongst yourselves and let me know if this idea has any merit. As I said, it is a new concept so if you have found some holes, we would love to hear about them.


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So far, everyone seems to be looking at the impending Affordable Care Act through rose-colored glasses. Everyone except you providers that is. To you, you know the word "reform" actually means "cuts." Not to your patients, but to you in the form of lower and lower reimbursements (after all, everyone knows that doctors and therapists and nurses make too much money).

Like all medical professions, aquatic therapy is a business and to stay in business, you have to plan for the future. To that end, be looking for us to post more and more HRA stories from around the country in the hopes they will better help you navigate these uncharted waters, starting with this article from Dr. Kevin Smith, an anesthetist who has a problem about working for free.

While we at Aquatic Resources Network make no bones about the fact that we think the HRA represents a major blow against our industry and therapy in general, we know that their are other opinions out there. If you wish to so opine, feel free to comment to our postings or submit your own guest blog. We will happily supply you with your own complementary pair of rose-colored glasses.

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