A woman smiles during aquatic therapy in a pool.

Aquatic therapy

Water therapy to help with your recovery

When recovering from an injury or surgery, such as a joint replacement or sports-related surgery, water-based treatments offer extra benefit. In the water, you can move with more ease and build strength in muscles to prevent atrophy and improve your mobility.

Aquatic therapy refers to physical therapy performed in a pool. In the pool, water helps support your weight, which puts less stress on joints and muscles. The cool water temperature can also reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation.

Our aquatic therapy program is led by board-certified physical therapists who use the latest techniques and equipment, including underwater motion-analysis cameras and treadmills. We work with patients of all abilities and ages, from teenagers to seniors. You can make an aquatic therapy appointment at our Bloomington and Woodbury locations.

How our aquatic therapy program works

Aquatic therapy can be effective on its own or may be combined with other forms of land-based therapy. Before you head to the pool, we perform an initial assessment where we talk about your condition or injury, and personal or athletic goals. We’ll also want to know if you’re comfortable in a pool.

You don’t need to know how to swim to benefit from aquatic therapy but being comfortable in and near water is important. The pool you’ll be exercising in won’t be more than five feet deep so it’s conducive for pool therapy exercises. You won’t need to put your head underwater or get your hair wet. Our pools are kept at around 90° F so you can glide in the water with greater ease.

We also offer an option of the Hydroworx pool at our Woodbury location, which uses underwater treadmills and video motion capture. This helps us correct any movement issues to make sure you get back to peak sport performance after your recovery.

Each session is about 45 minutes long. We ask that you arrive 15 minutes early so that you have enough time to change before your session.

Aquatic therapy is great for people of all ages and conditions, but it’s especially helpful for people who struggle with land-based exercises. If you suffer from fibromyalgia or have weight-bearing restrictions, it can be a safer way to exercise.

The specific water exercises you’ll be doing in the pool will vary and will often be personalized to your condition. How often you incorporate aquatic therapy into your sessions will also depend on your personal goals.

Benefits of aquatic therapy

Water’s natural therapeutic properties such as resistance, warmth and buoyancy reduce stress on your joints and tissues – and that can help speed up the healing process.

Additional benefits of aquatic therapy include:

  • Develops core strength
  • Minimizes swelling
  • Reduces pain
  • Improves range of motion
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Builds strength, muscle tone and balance

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)