Rehabilitation of Neuromotor Disabilities in Aquatic Microgravity Environment

  • Giovanni BarassiEmail author
  • Rosa Grazia Bellomo
  • Annamaria Porreca
  • Giuseppe Giannuzzo
  • Giuseppe Irace
  • Leonardo Trivisano
  • Raoul Saggini
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1113)


The aquatic environment has a high potential in rehabilitation treatment of acute lesions and in chronic diseases. The Safe Bearing Back method is proposed to stimulate the reorganization of deteriorated sensory neuromotor skills. The aim of the present study was to verify the effectiveness and the long-term maintenance of the benefits of a specific thermal rehabilitation training in neuromotor and neurological disabilities. Seventy four patients were evaluated using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), Tinetti Gait-Balance Scale (TIN), and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for pain. In addition, a general health index was developed, conceived as a linear combination, with unit weights, of the normalized FIM, TIN, and VAS indicators. Measurements were made at T1 (baseline before treatment), T2 (after a five-month treatment, which was the end of treatment), and T3 (6 months after the end of treatment). Self-sufficiency, walking ability, and subjective pain perception were improved after the treatment. The improvement tapered off during the six-month-long follow-up, but the patients’ condition remained well compared with the baseline level before the implementation of the treatment program. We conclude that hydrokinesitherapy with the Safe Bearing Back method demonstrates is clearly effective in the immediate and medium-term rehabilitation of neuromotor diseases.


Aquatic microgravity environment Chronic disease Health index Hydrokinesitherapy Neuromotor disabilities Rehabilitation Treatment program 


Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing interests in relation to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Barassi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rosa Grazia Bellomo
    • 2
  • Annamaria Porreca
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Giannuzzo
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Irace
    • 1
  • Leonardo Trivisano
    • 3
  • Raoul Saggini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Oral and Biotechnological Science“Gabriele d’Annunzio” UniversityChieti-PescaraItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biomolecular Sciences‘Carlo Bo’ UniversityUrbinoItaly
  3. 3.Rehabilitation DepartmentLocal Health Unit of FoggiaFoggiaItaly

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