Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wagner, Rebekah

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders


I have set out to research various aspects of physical therapy and how it affects children with cerebral palsy. I wanted to find how land-based physical therapy and aquatic-based physical therapy effects the outcomes of children with cerebral palsy and if there is a difference between the two therapies. I have found many studies showing improvements in posture, balance, gait, muscle strength, and endurance. Constraint induced therapy is shown to improvements in motor skill in children with hemiparesis and promoted an increase in movement on the affected side of the body. It is also shown that muscle strength can be improved through the use of isokinetic, isometric, isotonic, and a combination of weight machines and isotonic exercises. Strength training also provides benefits for children with spastic cerebral palsy. Hippotherapy is a great way for children to improve their posture, balance, relaxation, and reduce high muscle tone. Water therapy is also used to modify aerobic exercise and strengthening activities because of its resistive forces of buoyancy and viscous drag. Aquatic therapy also helps with children who have unstable joints. In researching the effects of land and aquatic based physical therapy I have found that there is substantially less information found for aquatic therapy compared to land based therapy. In the little information I have found on aquatic therapy it is shown to be very useful when used along with land based therapy. I believe that for best results aquatic therapy should be used along with land therapy in order to build strength in the pool so that land exercises are easier.


Includes bibliographical references.


18 pages




Northern Illinois University

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