3319 – Gait and Balance: What the water can do, cannot do, and how it can best be used for Therapeutic Interventions

Advanced / Pool Workshop


Chicago, IL / Thursday, April 11, 2019 – 7:30 am-5:00 pm - 8.0 credit hours

Classroom: 7:30-11:30 am

Lunch on own: 11:30 am-12:30 pm

Indoor Pool: 12:30-3:00 pm

Classroom: 3:00-5:00 pm


Faculty: Marty Biondi, PT, DPT, CSCS



While water walking is used extensively in rehab, do we really understand the differences between water and land walking so that we can apply an accurate intervention? This class will first review the kinematics and biomechanics of land walking. Taking what we know about land, we will discuss the muscle activation, ground reaction forces and kinematics of water walking, and how to apply these to motions to various impairments during aquatic therapy. This class will conclude with gait and balance discrepancies as they relate to various diagnoses and what we can do to address such conditions using aquatics.



At the conclusion of this class, the participant will:

1)  Recognize the biomechanical and kinematic differences as discussed in the literature between land and water walking so that water can be a positive adjunctive tool in the rehabilitation process.

2)  Explore the benefits of water therapy interventions in the rehabilitation of the those conditions that result in gait deviations.

3)  Determine what current literature substantiates in the use of water walking as a positive therapy intervention for specific diagnoses.

4)  Examine a logical progression for water walking

5)  Analyze dynamic balance discrepancies that are common with specific diagnoses, how gait is impaired and how these can be addressed with aquatic interventions.


FACULTY: Marty Biondi, PT, DPT, CSCS, provides physical therapy at several clinics in the Chicago area, including Therapeutic & Wellness Specialists, Lake Forest Place, and Sennogroup Rehabilitation and Wellness. She is responsible for all aspects of patient care with a varied patient load that includes orthopedic and complex neurological as the primary diagnoses. She has been involved in various aspects of aquatics for over 30 years including pool administration, design and program implementation, risk management, and as a physical therapist using water to treat various diagnoses.