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Aquatic Therapy

Water can assist with improving mobility, flexibility, balance and strength, and decrease pain. A physical therapist prescribes exercises for each patient/client and the exercises are performed in a therapeutic pool heated to 90-92 degrees. Our therapeutic aquatic therapy pool is located at our Tom Miller Road facility. The Pool at the CVPH Wellness Center is a multi-use pool and is typically 84 degrees.

What conditions does aquatic therapy address?
Many musculoskeletal and neurological conditions may benefit from aquatic therapy including but not limited to:

  • Orthopedic disorders
  • Post-surgical cases
  • Sports rehabilitation
  • Arthritis
  • Impaired balance disorders
  • Back pain
  • Chronic pain


What does aquatic rehabilitation involve?
At CVPH Medical Center, the initial physical therapy evaluation takes place in a private treatment room, where treatment goals and plan of care is initiated. If pool therapy is indicated the therapist will establish follow up physical therapy sessions in the water. It is not necessary for patients to know how to swim before initiating an aquatic therapy program. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant directs each treatment session. Access to the pool may be by stairs or lift. CVPH provides access to changing area and shower.
We suggest that patients consider bringing:

  • swimsuit (required)
  • a cover-up or towel
  • water shoes to protect their feet in the pool area
  • For those patients that require assistance with dressing and showering we ask that a caregiver be present during each treatment session.


Preparing for Your First Visit

  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to your first session to complete paperwork.
  • A referral for aquatic therapy is required from your physician.


How long will aquatic rehabilitation take?
Aquatic therapy treatment sessions are approximately 30-45 minutes long and specifically tailored to meet each patient’s individual needs. The aquatic treatment plan is coordinated with a land-based physical therapy plan and varies based on patient diagnosis. Once patients aquatic goals are achieved program progresses to land-based focus as needed.

What type of recovery/outcome can I expect from aquatic rehabilitation?
Most patients find that aquatic therapy provides a safe way to regain their strength, balance, range of motion and flexibility while at the same time manage pain and swelling.

Aquatic therapy can be used to address multiple medical issues including acute and chronic pain, and orthopedic and neurologic conditions. The benefits of aquatic therapy are achieved by using the properties of water such as buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure to decrease or increase support, to resistance to movements, to decompress the spine and other joints, to decrease swelling, and improve

Water can assist with improving mobility, flexibility, balance and strength, and decrease pain. Our Tom Miller Road facility features an aquatic therapy pool with an access ramp allows easy entrance into the pool where a wide variety of resistance equipment is available for use. This unique pool features a movable floor which changes the depth of the water from 0 to 7 feet.

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

One benefit of Aquatic Therapy is the buoyancy provided by the water. While submerged in water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the patient. This decreases the amount of weight bearing which reduces the force of stress placed on the joints. This aspect of Aquatic Therapy is especially useful for patients with arthritis, healing fractured bones, or who are overweight. By decreasing the amount of joint stress it is easier and less painful to perform exercises.

The viscosity of water provides an excellent source of resistance that can be easily incorporated into an Aquatic Therapy exercise program. This resistance allows for muscle strengthening without the need of weights. Using resistance coupled with the water’s buoyancy allows a person to strengthen muscle groups with decreased joint stress that cannot be experienced on land.

Hydrostatic Pressure
Aquatic Therapy also utilizes hydrostatic pressure to decrease swelling and improve joint position awareness. The hydrostatic pressure produces forces perpendicular to the body’s surface. This pressure provides joint positional awareness to the patient. As a result, patient proprioception is improved. This is important for patients who have experienced joint sprains, as when ligaments are torn, our proprioception becomes decreased. The hydrostatic pressure also assists in decreasing joint and soft tissue swelling that results after injury or with arthritic disorders.

Lastly, the warmth of the water experience during Aquatic Therapy assists in relaxing muscles and vasodilates vessels, increasing blood flow to injured areas. Patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia find this aspect of Aquatic Therapy especially therapeutic.

It is important to note that Aquatic Therapy is not for everyone and it is recommended that you speak with your doctor before beginning an Aquatic Therapy exercise program.