Background: This study was to evaluate the effect of a period of aquatic exercise therapy on muscle strength and joints range of motion in hemophilia patients.
Methods: This was a semiexperimental, pretest, post-test study with a control group. This semi-experimental study comprised twenty men suffering moderate hemophilia were selected by convenience sampling method from patients of a referral hospital. They were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups of equal number. The hemophilia patients who were referred to Sayedo-Shohada Hospital enrolled in this study. Twenty men suffering moderate hemophilia were selected using convenience sampling method and then divided randomly into intervention and control groups (10 patients in each group). Subjects of aquatic exercise therapy group underwent activity in water in three sessions (45-60 minutes) per week for 8 weeks, while the control group was only under follow-up and during this period did not experience any effective physical activity. The patients' muscle strength and joint range of motion were evaluated through standard laboratory tools, using an isokinetic dynamometer (Biodex, Systems III) and a standard goniometer in the beginning and at end of the study. Finally, data was analyzed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
Results: The strength of the muscles around the knee joint (to perform extension and flexion movements) increased significantly in the case group while the control group experienced a significant reduction of strength in left leg, but in right leg remarkable change was observed. Range of motion in all joints was improved in the case group, while the control group did not improve significantly.
Conclusion: The results showed that aquatic exercise therapy can be a useful method to improve joints' strength and range of motion in hemophilia patients in order to improve their daily functioning and quality of life.
Keywords: Aquatic exercise therapy; hemophilia; joint range of motion; muscle strength.