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n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Hydrotherapy and its effects on chronic pain intensity, physical functionality and quality of life in the elderly

Volume 21 Number 4.1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315

Abstract

Chronic pain is often associated with impaired muscle strength and limited physical activity and performance, resulting in impaired physical functioning. This study aimed to determine whether voluntary participation in a structured 6-week hydrotherapy exercise programme would improve pain management, functionality and quality of life in an elderly population ( = 22; 77.7 ± 6.6 y)suffering from chronic pain and living in nursing homes in Tshwane. The experimental group (= 13) attended hydrotherapy classes twice a week for six weeks, while the control group ( = 9)did not. Questionnaires were completed (Chronic Pain Grade, Functional Status Index, and the SF 36), and functional testing performed, in both groups at weeks 0, 3 and 6. The experimental group reported reduced pain intensity at week 3 ( = 0.051); reduced pain-induced disability at week 6 ( = 0.080); reduced assisted help required for activities of daily living (ADL) at week 3 ( = 0.040); reduced difficulty on performing ADL at week 3 ( = 0.012) and reduced pain experienced with ADL at week 3 ( = 0.007) and week 6 ( = 0.014). Improvements in upper body strength and agility were demonstrated. Improvements in sub-scales for quality of life were demonstrated at weeks 3 and 6. The control group showed no statistically significant changes in the above parameters. In conclusion, participation in structured hydrotherapy classes has been shown in this small study to be a beneficial intervention strategy for managing chronic pain in the elderly.

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/content/ajpherd/21/Issue-41/EJC182198
2015-12-01
2020-10-22

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