Aquatic Programs for people with Multiple Sclerosis
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Yasser Salem, PT, PhD, NCS, PCS
Dr. Salem is a board certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist and a board certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist. Dr. Salem earned his PhD in physical therapy from the University of Central Arkansas. He also has an Advanced Master Degree in physical therapy with concentration in pediatrics, and he received his professional physical therapy education from Cairo University. Dr. Salem is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Physical Therapy, Long Island University. He teaches courses in examination and intervention of the clients with neurologic dysfunction, as well as content in neuroscience, neuropathology, pediatrics, and motor control. Dr. Salem has conducted continuing education courses and given numerous presentations at national and international meetings. He has published in a variety of journals including Neurorehabilitation, Stroke, Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy, Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, and Disability and Rehabilitation. In addition, he has served as an editorial reviewer for several journals including European Journal of Neurology, Disability and Rehabilitation, Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, and Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. He maintains clinical experience in adult and pediatric rehabilitation.
The goals of this session are to 1) present the theoretical framework and recent empirical evidence regarding aquatic therapy for individuals with multiple sclerosis and 2) highlight the use of aquatic therapy to improve gait and balance and to augment rehabilitation of those individuals. Aquatic therapy is a form of integrated exercise for individuals with neuromuscular disorders that provides an appropriate therapeutic environment that can be used to augment rehabilitation of those individuals. Over the last 20 years, a substantial body of evidence has accumulated to support the use of aquatic therapy for people with neuromuscular disorders. Various research studies demonstrate improvements in balance, gait, spasticity, strength, range of motion, cardiovascular endurance, fatigue, quality of life, and psychological well-being. This session will review common impairments seen in people with multiple sclerosis. The unique aspects and rational for using aquatic therapy for people with multiple sclerosis will be presented. The current evidence on the effects of aquatic therapy in people with multiple sclerosis will be presented to guide practical application of aquatic therapy. This session will present general guidelines for treatment design and uses of aquatic therapy to augment rehabilitation. I will discuss how to design effective and specific aquatic exercise and treatment strategies. This presentation will highlight the use of aquatic therapy to improve gait and balance and the transition to land based exercises in people with multiple sclerosis. Selected patient examples using videos of individuals with multiple sclerosis will be presented.
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