2607 Ð Ai Chi for Scoliosis and Multi-Level Fusion

Intermediate / 4-hour Workshop


Faculty: Mary Wykle, PhD, ATRIC


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Understanding scoliosis as to type of diagnosis, degree of curve progression, and age at onset is essential to modify a protocol such as Ai Chi to accommodate and sometimes, correct limitations. In recent years, spinal fusions have increased in numbers with many multi-level fusions to complete spinal fusions for diagnoses such as scoliosis. Working with a patient who has had a multi-level fusion requires a review of the types of fusion techniques being employed and the limitations they incur. Minimal invasive fusions and robotic fusions are coming to the forefront.  The important factor to determine is why the fusion was deemed necessary, outcomes of the surgery, patientÕs and surgeonÕs expectations following fusion surgery, limitations and setting of realistic goals.  Because of the diversity of types of fusions, aquatic therapy must have balance and locomotion primary and then determine the correct protocol. This course will discuss the current trends in fusion surgery, fusion revisions and removal of hardware, and optional aquatic therapy to address the individual limitations placed on the patient. Aquatic options range from basic clinical aquatic exercises, Pilates, Yoga, and Ai Chi modifications. All options must address balance, coordination, gait, and recovery to center of balance. Activities of daily living also require adaptation and specialized ways to address these will be included. As we all recognize, we live on land, but we can make rapid gains toward independence in the water.



1)  Review of types of scoliosis and common treatments including bracing and fusion procedures when surgery is necessary.

2)  Develop an aquatic program for patients with multi-level fusions.

3)  Examine fusions by diagnosis and research studies in progress.

4)  Plan a progressive pool and home program.

5)  Experience Ai Chi modifications applicable for anyone who has had a multi-level fusion that restricts range of motion.


FACULTY: Mary O. Wykle, PhD, ATRIC, presents for ATRI and AEA. Course development includes aquatic re-conditioning programs for the Army and USMC. Additional programs include Aqua Pi-Yo-Chiª, Core Stabilization and Safety Training. Aquatic recognitions include: AEA Global Award for Lifetime Achievement (2010); ISHOF Adapted Aquatics Award (2007); ATRI Aquatic Professional of the Year (2006); ATRI Tsunami Spirit Award (2004) and ATRI Dolphin Award (2002).