gms | German Medical Science

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Österreich

The comparison of the effectiveness of hydrotherapy and physiotherapy on the knee osteoarthritis

Meeting Abstract

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm030

doi: 10.3205/11esm030, urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm0302

Veröffentlicht: 24. Oktober 2011

© 2011 Naderi et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Objective: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common human articular disease. Based on the radiological findings, in the western countries the incidence of OA is 2% for 45 years people and 35% for people between 45–65 years old and 68% for people older than 65 years [1], [2], [3]. In compared with more serious diseases such as cancer or cerebral stroke, OA is responsible for the most of complete disability in older adults [1]. Therefor, the purpose of this research was the survey and comparison of the effectiveness of hydrotherapy and physiotherapy on the function, walking and dynamic balance in the subjects with knee osteoarthritis.

Material/Methods: For this respect, 36 individuals affected by knee osteoarthritis (with a mean of Age (40.75±5.83), weight (72.75±6.45), height (178±7.2)) were classified randomly into three groups of hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and control. Then participants of experimental groups received 6 weeks of aquatic therapy and physiotherapy. Aquatic therapy program were included of exercises that was performed in the pool (water temperature 27–30°C). Physiotherapy program was planned for 45 minutes, which was included ultrasound, TENS, infrared, and stretching and strengthening exercises of quadriceps muscle. Outcome measures were included, step test, timed “Up & Go” Test and Six-Minute Walk Test that were performed in the pretest and posttest for the assessment of dynamic standing balance, physical function and gait respectively. The differences in the variable at the pretest (baseline) and posttest (final) between the three groups were assessed using a one-way ANOVA test and effects of the interventions for the variable were analyzed by paired sample t test (Table 1 [Tab. 1]).

Results: The findings showed that there is no significant difference between balance, gait and physical function in two groups of physiotherapy and hydrotherapy (p<0/05). In this research findings showed that both of hydrotherapy and physiotherapy increased gait, balance and knee function in subjects affected by knee OA (p>0/05). However the hydrotherapy was approximately better than physiotherapy.

Conclusion: According to the results, it was indicated that both of hydrotherapy and physiotherapy have significant effectiveness on balance, gait and physical function of the patients affected by OA. This result is consensus with previous studies, Silva, et al [2], Green J, et al [1] and Rana S Hinman, et al [3], who expressed significant effectiveness of hydrotherapy on the objective and subjective function of patients affected by OA [1], [2], [3]. Therefore, despite of better results of water therapy group than Physiotherapy group; there are no significant differences between the efficacy of those treatment methods on the amount of walking, balance and physical function in osteoarthritis patients there. But according to the relatively better results of water therapy, can be advised this treatment as a relatively effective treatment for patients with knee osteoarthritis.


Green J, McKenna F, Refern E, Chamberlain M. Home exercises are as effective as outpatient hydrotherapy for osteoarthritis of the hip. Br J Rheumatol. 1993;32:812–5.
Silva, et al. Hydrotherapy Versus Conventional Land-Based Exercise for the Management of Patients With Osteoarthritis of the Knee A Randomized Clinical Trial. Phys Ther. 2008;88:12-21.
Rana S Hinman, et al. Aquatic Physical Therapy for Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis: Results of a Single-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Phys Ther. 2007;87:32-43.