Woman doing physical therapy in the swimming pool

Aquatic Physical Therapy

At Providence, we understand that you want to get back to your regular life as quickly as possible after an illness, injury or surgery. Aquatic therapy is a safe, gentle approach that can help improve your strength, endurance, flexibility and range of motion.

Aquatic therapy is a type of physical therapy you do in a warm-water pool (88-91 degrees). Exercising in a pool gives you buoyancy, making it easier on your weight-bearing joints and muscles. The warm water helps you relax and lets you move with more flexibility and less pain than on land. It’s a great way to begin building strength, endurance and flexibility gradually and comfortably. 

Our physical therapy team guides you through gentle exercises that improve circulation, relieve pain and help you improve your range of motion. Aquatic therapy is often used to treat arthritis, multiple sclerosis, back or chronic pain, fibromyalgia, balance or walking problems and other conditions. Your doctor also might recommend it as a way to start moving again after surgery.

When you come in for your first visit, a physical therapist will evaluate your needs and develop a therapy program just for you. They’ll tell you what to bring to your pool therapy sessions and what exactly you can expect from your therapy program.

You should wear something that makes you feel comfortable in the pool – either a swimsuit or a t-shirt and shorts. If you need help changing clothes before or after your session, we recommend that you bring a family member or friend along to assist you.

Your first session in the pool will last about 30 minutes. You should expect to feel tired but relaxed afterward. We suggest you go home and rest after therapy rather than running errands or going to another appointment. Give yourself time to recover. 

You may be a little tired, or your muscles may feel slightly fatigued after therapy. If you don’t feel well or are uncomfortable at any time while you’re in the pool, let your physical therapist know. Our team is trained to keep you safe and make sure you exercise safely, comfortably and within your limits.