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aquatic physical therapy

Aquatic physical therapy is one-on-one individualized physical therapy that takes place in a warm pool. The water may be waist to chest-deep, and patients are situated in an upright position. Rock Valley aquatic physical therapists have specialized training, utilizing the properties of water to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and build strength, endurance, and balance. Our therapists enter the water with each patient for the entire treatment time, guiding exercises and providing manual treatments. We have stairs and a chair lift to help patients enter the pool as required. Finally, an underwater treadmill with video feedback, resistance jets, and a massage wand may also play a role in the rehab process.

Who Can Benefit?

The pool is a unique, 3-dimensional environment. The properties of water positively affect the whole body, not just one body part or one diagnosis. Anyone with difficulty completing daily behaviors, simple exercises, recreational activities, or sporting events due to pain, swelling, injury, balance difficulties, weight bearing restrictions, or unwanted reliance on a walker, crutches, or cane can benefit from aquatic therapy. Some patients prefer exercising in water while others are unsure of the aquatic environment. Reasons for uncertainty may include a near-drowning experience or extended absence from a pool. Our therapists routinely work with concerned patients – often, people gain confidence and enjoy the water in a single session. Others may feel uncomfortable wearing a swimming suit or don’t want to invest in a suit. In this case, wearing shorts and a T-shirt for more coverage and convenience is an option. If you have a goal but have had trouble achieving it, aquatic therapy may be the place for you to succeed! 

Conditions Treated by Aquatic Physical Therapy Services

Our Aquatic Therapy program treats numerous orthopedic conditions in the pool, including:

  • Neck: chronic arthritis
  • Shoulder: tendinitis, adhesive capsulitis, post-surgical rotator cuff repair, or scope
  • Elbow, Wrist, and Hand: strength and range of motion deficits
  • Lumbar: chronic arthritis, radiculopathy, stenosis, sciatica, post-surgical strengthening
  • Hip: arthritis, Total Hip Arthroplasty, weakness
  • Knee: Total Knee Arthroplasty, knee scopes, arthritis, meniscus tears,  ACL rehab
  • Ankle: sprains, Achilles Tendinitis, post-surgical procedures, transitioning to WB
  • Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Obesity, General Deconditioning/weakness, Balance difficulties,
  • Programs: Individualized Athlete Training, Ai Chi Class

We also provide an Aquatic Maintenance Program, a monthly membership for patients who have finished an aquatic physical therapy course and wish to utilize our pool independently to continue aquatic exercises.