2008 Volume 71 Issue 4 Pages 203-210
The specific effect of underwater exercise in a 61-year old woman with cerebellar ataxia induced by spinocerebellar degeneration was observed. She was treated through home visit rehabilitation. She was admitted to this hospital in 2004 and started underwater exercise. She received 40 minutes of physical therapy three times a week as well as 40 minutes of occupational therapy and 30 minutes of underwater exercise three times a week. After that training, her cerebellar ataxia was relieved, and she could walk indoors with good stability using a T cane. During 5 hospitalizations in 3.5 years, her cerebellar ataxia improved and her walking was stabilized.
Some differences in her rehabilitation during hospitalization compared to when she was at home was that occupational therapy was added and that the training frequency was increased five times by physical therapy and occupational therapy for one week in total, and that underwater exercise was added. In regards to the improvement of her dysfunction in terms of daily living, a trunk and an inferior limb were important factors. Therefore, we think that intervention through physical therapy and underwater exercise was significant. Also, the difference between her physical therapy during hospitalization and when at-home was three times a week during hospitalization and twice a week when at home. Therefore, we determined there was a large difference of her rehabilitation effected by the underwater exercise. There is a possibility the underwater exercise improved her intension tremor and dysmetria, stabilized her indoor walking, and extended the distance she walked outdoors.
Underwater exercise is a plural classical training method that is reasonably safe while at the same time providing rehabilitation for cerebellar ataxia, and this exercise is expected to provide addition due to the warm temperature of the water.
The authors propose that new rehabilitation using underwater exercise for cerebellar ataxia be considered.