Compared with no intervention, a 6-week program of aquatic physical therapy resulted in significantly less pain and improved physical function, strength, and quality of life.

71 volunteers with symptomatic hip or knee osteoarthritis participated in a study to either receive 6 weeks of aquatic physical therapy or no aquatic physical therapy. 

The group that received aquatic PT had less pain and joint stiffness and greater physical function, quality of life, and hip muscle strength. 72% of participants reported improvements in pain and 75% reported improvements in function, compared with only 17% improvement (in both pain and function) of control participants. Benefits were maintained 6 weeks after the completion of physical therapy, with 84% of participants continuing independently.

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