2239 – Application of Aquatic Principles

Intermediate / Pool Workshop


Washington, DC / Thursday, February 21, 2019 – 1:00-3:00 pm – 2.0 credit hours

(Pool: 1:00-2:00 pm / Classroom: 2:00-3:00 pm)


Faculty: David Berry, PhD, AT, ATC, ATRIC


COURSE DESCRIPTION: The aquatic environment has always been believed to promote healing and has consequently been commonly used in the management of medical illnesses, disorder, conditions and for general well-being. Aquatic immersion has profound biological effects, extending across essentially all homeostatic systems. These effects are both immediate and delayed and allows water to be used with therapeutic efficacy for a great variety of rehabilitative problems and during training and conditioning.


The effects of immersion in water, which are related to the principles of hydrodynamics. The effects and properties of water, such as density, hydrostatic pressure, density, thermodynamics, and buoyancy are highly useful resources for training, when used as a counterbalance to gravity, resistance, a compressor and a thermal conductor. Not only does the aquatic medium enable a wider range of activities to be used in a context of low and high joint impact, but it also creates a useful tool in rehabilitation, since it allows the clients to return to training earlier or to continue with high-intensity exercise while ensuring both low joint impact and greater comfort for the individual concerned.


The aquatic medium enables the stimulation of metabolic and neuromuscular systems, followed by their corresponding physiological adaptations allowing both to maintain and improve performance. Aquatic therapies and its associated principles are beneficial in the management of patients with musculoskeletal problems, neurologic problems, cardiopulmonary pathology, and other conditions. Hydrotherapy, a form of aquatic therapy can also play a beneficial role in an athlete’s recovery, helping to prevent as well as treat muscle damage and soreness following exercise. Finally, the margin of therapeutic safety is wider than that of almost any other therapeutic intervention. Knowledge of these biological effects can aid the skilled rehabilitative clinician to create an optimal treatment plan, through appropriate modification of aquatic activities, immersion temperatures, and treatment duration.



At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

1)  Identify the physical principles of water, including, density, hydrostatic pressure, density, thermodynamics,  and buoyancy.

2)  Examine how water acts as counterbalance to gravity, resistance, a compressor and a thermal conductor.

3)  Explore the applications of the physical principles of water related to cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

4)  Define the applications of the physical principles of water related to respiratory function, musculoskeletal conditions, and athletic rehabilitation.

5)  Identify the applications of the physical principles of water related to the use of equipment across a spectrum of clients.


FACULTY: David C. Berry, PhD, AT, ATC, ATRIC, is a Professor, Athletic Training Program Director at SVSU, and author (Emergency Trauma Management for Athletic Trainers). He serves as an active member of the Board of Certification, American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Sports Education Council (Michigan Cardiovascular Institute) educating the community and professionals on emergency planning and sudden cardiac awareness.