Aquatic Exercise Intervention Is Effective for Spasticity
Inhibition in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Clinical
Volume 3 - Issue 1
Bolarinwa Isaac Akinola*
- Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Pmb 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
Received: January 28, 2021 Published: February 15, 2021
Corresponding author: Bolarinwa Isaac Akinola, Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Pmb 12003,
Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
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Introduction: Spasticity has been implicated as a major hindrance to motor development and overall functional performance in
children with cerebral palsy (CP). Recent evidence have suggested aquatic therapy as an alternative means for inhibiting spasticity
in children with CP. However, these previous studies have provided contrasting results, thereby creating some dearth of evidence in
the use of aquatic therapy to manage spasticity in children with CP.
Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of aquatic exercise intervention in inhibiting spasticity in children with CP.
Materials and methods:
Thirty children aged 1-12 years participated in this study. They were randomised into 2 groups
(experimental and control). The experimental groups received manual passive stretching on affected muscles of both upper and
lower extremities followed by weight bearing exercises in water (temperature 28-32ºC) while the control group received same
exercises on land for 10 weeks. Degree of spasticity on treated group of muscles was assessed using Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS).
Mann-Whitney-U test was used to compare the change in degree of spasticity between both groups. The level of significance was
set at p<0.05.
Results: The experimental group showed significant reduction in spasticity of all the tested muscle groups while the control
group showed no significant improvement in spasticity of wrist flexors and knee flexors. No significant difference was observed for
change in spasticity between both groups.
Conclusion: Aquatic exercise intervention is effective for inhibiting muscle spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.
Keywords: Aquatic Exercise; Intervention; Spasticity; Cerebral Palsy.