aquatic exercise, balance, falls, older adults



  1. Morris, David M. PT, PhD


Balance dysfunction and falls-related injuries represent serious public health issues, resulting in great expense and human suffering. The physical problems leading to balance dysfunction include musculoskeletal-related structural limitations, diminished sensory capabilities, motor coordination deficits, and loss of anticipatory control mechanisms. The water has been described as an effective environment for addressing balance dysfunction through both rehabilitation and fitness activities. This article describes the underlying physical problems leading to balance dysfunction, provides a rationale for using aquatic therapy to positively influence balance control, and presents evidence to support the use of aquatic therapy for the management of balance dysfunction.