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Aquatic Therapy University - Post-graduate studies in aquatic therapy

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Justifiable Aquatic Therapy Strategies for the Low Back, Neck & Chronic Pain Patient
Taught By: Beth Scalone, PT, DPT, OCS

Minneapolis, MN

Oops. You missed it. See our 2014 schedule here
Or bring this EXACT class to your pool.


A 4-hr ATU Bootcamp is offered at no additional cost immediately prior to this class (see next column for schedule). This class is required before taking any ATU course (current water-gurus excepted).


A 18 hr. training module packed into 2 days (4 hr. Boot Camp plus 14 hr. main course). Designed to provide evidence-based support for treating the low back and chronic pain patient in water – and then to practice these techniques in water.

Will focus exclusively on spinal and chronic pain patients. Examines recent research findings which support aquatic therapy for this population. Provides detailed instruction of the following techniques as relates to the low back and pain patients: PNF, Spinal Stabilization, Burdenko Method and more.


  1. Describe why aquatic therapy may be the treatment of choice if (a) the patient is in pain or experiencing muscle spasm, (b) the therapist cannot adequately access the patient’s body on land, (c) the patient is unable to exercise in a gravity-dominant environment (lecture)
  2. Recite 3-4 aquatic precautions and contraindications specific to the chronic pain and spinal dysfunction patient (lecture)
  3. List 4 primary muscle groups involved in lumbar stabilization. Discuss local vs. global muscle function and control as it pertains to lumbar stabilization. Describe 3 common postural deviations and muscle firing patterns found in individuals with chronic neck pain (lecture)
  4. Document medical necessity for aquatic therapy and locate what payers (including Medicare) have to say about its use for the chronic pain and spinal dysfunction patient (lecture)
  5. Make a 3 minute verbal “case” for providing aquatic therapy services for a chronic pain and spinal dysfunction patient, including an appropriate plan for returning patient to land-based exercise and function. Be able to identify and locate supportive research to bolster case (lecture)
  6. Match 2-3 mock patient scenarios with the specific aquatic postural correction and/or lumbar stabilization techniques that are most appropriate (lab)
  7. Progress a specific aquatic task (such as lumbar stabilization) from a lower level of function towards increased independence. Demonstrate skilled use of verbal and tactile cueing to engage patient participation (lab)
  8. Understand the basic principles of the Burdenko Method and apply them to aquatic lumbar stabilization (lab)
  9. Working with a partner, design and implement a 15-minute aquatic treatment plan (including equipment selection) for 1-2 of the following:
    • Fibromyalgia and other pain disorders
    • Chronic cervical spine dysfunction
    • Chronic thoracic and rib dysfunction
    • Chronic lumbar dysfunction (lab)

View all 2010 classes

Download brochure (PDF)

ATU Schedule

Friday AM (Bootcamp)
8:30-9:00 Registration
9:00-10:30 Lecture
10:30-1:15 Pool lab

Friday PM (Main course)
2:00-2:30 Registration
2:30-4:15 Lecture
4:15-5:00 Supper
5:00-9:00 Pool lab

9:00-12:00 Lecture
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-3:30 Pool lab
3:30-4:00 Energy break
4:00-6:30 Pool lab

Aquatic therapy seminars and trainings

Schedule Changes
Due to unforeseen circumstances or events, ATU schedules, instructors
or venues are subject to change without notice.

Cancellation Policy
The final date for refunds (minus $175 reseating fee) for cancellations by students is 2 wks before class start date. No refunds given for cancellations after this date.



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PH: (800) 680-8624
FAX: (888) 514-6133


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