Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Todd Evans


Aquatic exercises--Therapeutic use; Foot--Wounds and injuries--Treatment; Ankle--Wounds and injuries--Treatment;


Water based exercise, or aquatic therapy, involves rehabilitation exercises performed while the patient is immersed in a pool. It is becoming an increasingly popular mode for rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries and other conditions. Research has suggested that it can decrease pain and increase function over a long period of rehabilitation. But it is uncertain if it improves pain and function in while performing rehabilitation exercises following foot and ankle injuries. The purpose of this study is to determine if patients recovering from foot and ankle injuries have any change in pain or function while performing exercises in water as compared to performing the same activity on land. This case series follows five participants, recovering from a foot-ankle injury, through a series of exercises that are completed first on land and then again in water. The participants rated each exercise on a Visual Analogue Scale from 0- 10 and also rated the level of difficulty with which they were able to complete the individual tasks while performing the exercise. All five participants reported decreased pain while performing the exercises in water, and during 35 of the 55 total exercises (11 per participant) participants reported decreased pain. Function, however, was not as easily altered, however, and an improvement was only reported by participants in 22 of the 55 total exercises. In addition, it was discovered that the presence of pain does not indicate impairment in function, as was reported by multiple participants. Water based exercises were shown to decrease pain during exercise as compared to land based exercises.

Year of Submission



School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services


Division of Athletic Training

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (48 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download