Effect of aquomanual therapy on pain and physical function of patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders: A pilot study using quantitative and qualitative methods

Se Jun Oh, Minyoung Lee, Jun Woo Yeom, Tae Yeong Kim, Min Seock Kim, Bum-Chul Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction Aquomanual therapy, which combines aquatic and manual therapy, aims to treat pain and improve physical function in individuals with chronic musculoskeletal disorders. This study aimed to verify the effectiveness of aquomanual therapy and document the participants’ experiences and opinions. Methods Aquomanual therapy was applied to individual participants (10 community-dwelling adults with chronic musculoskeletal disorders) in an indoor swimming pool in the aquatic therapy room of the hospital three times per week for 8 weeks. This study used a mixed method prospective descriptive design. And, we used the visual analog scale to assess pain, a goniometer to measure range of motion (ROM), the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) to assess fatigue, and the Short Form-36 Health Status Questionnaire (SF-36) to assess quality of life and qualitative symptoms through in-depth individual interviews. Results On the FSS, there were significant differences in neck, shoulder, and back pain (p < 0.05) and ROM of the neck, shoulder, and back (p < 0.05) but not in ROM of neck flexion. On the SF-36, there were significant differences in General health, Physical functioning, Role-physical, Bodily pain, and Vitality (p < 0.05) but no statistically significant increase in Role-emotional, Social functioning, or Mental health. Qualitative data collected in the in-depth individual interviews included: 1) decreased pain; 2) relaxation and relief of tiredness; 3) ease of use; 4) understanding the correct posture; and 5) novelty and enjoyment. Conclusions Aquomanual therapy may relieve pain in and increase physical function of patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders and was received positively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1



  • Aquomanual therapy
  • Mixed methods
  • Musculoskeletal diseases
  • Musculoskeletal manipulations
  • Pain
  • Prospective study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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