April 8, 2019

Consider aquatic exercise for people with haemophilia

Exercising in water could be useful for people with haemophilia but there is a need for more robust evidence of effectiveness, say investigators from India (Complement Ther Clin Pract 2019;34:195-200).

Their qualitative review of published trials found four studies of at least moderate quality. The concluded that aquatic exercise offers positive effects compared with no treatment or land-based exercise, with two studies showing improvements in range of motion for the elbow, knee and ankle, and in knee muscle strength. There was also a suggestion that aquatic exercise increased aerobic capacity and reduced prothrombin time.

The authors argue that aquatic exercise offers several advantages over land-based activity: buoyancy reduces the load on joints, viscosity provides resistance that builds muscle strength, and compression from hydrostatic pressure reduces swelling and pain.