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Aquatic Physical Therapy

What is Aquatic Physical Therapy?

Aquatic physical therapy is the practice pf physical therapy by a trained and licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant within the environment of a water-filled pool. The buoyancy, support and accommodating resistance of the water enhance exercise and create a safe environment for progressive rehabilitation. The temperature of the water prompts muscle relaxation, facilitates stretch and generally reduces the sensation of pain.

The Facility

Providence Physical & Aquatic Therapy is proud to offer one of the few warm water physical therapy programs in the Region, and the only warm water pool in Lewis County.

  • Our pool temperature averages 94°
  • With a depth variation of 3.5 to 5 feet and adaptive equipment, even those who cannot swim or are afraid of water can rehabilitate comfortably and safely
  • The pool is fully handicapped accessible with a patient lift
  • We have convenient dressing, bathroom and shower facilities

Why 94° water?

The temperature of our pool is considered neutral. After first entering the pool, the water will begin to feel close to the same temperature as the skin. This allows our patients to work in an environment of comfort. The warm water allows more movement with a decreased chance of spasms and a decrease in pain.

How should I prepare for my first visit?

When you come for your evaluation, we will give you information on what to bring to your aquatic therapy sessions. You can wear a swim suit, but some patients choose to wear a t-shirt and shorts. We want you to be comfortable in the pool. If you need help changing in or out of your suit please bring a family member or friend to assist you.

Your first session in the pool usually lasts 30 minutes. You should expect to be tired but relaxed. We suggest that you do not plan to run errands or have other appointments after the pool. It is best if you can go home and rest after your session.

Benefits of Aquatic Physical Therapy

  • Decreases body weight lessening stress on weight-bearing joints such as the lower back, hip, knee, ankle and foot
  • Increases circtulation
  • Promotes muscle relaxation
  • Allows early motion after surgery
  • Aid in pain management
  • Increases strength, endurance, coordination and balance
  • Increases range of motion

What kind of exercise programs are offered?

We offer a wide variety of exercise programs designed to meet the needs of each individual.

Spine Rehabilitation

Our spine rehab programs are individually designed for each patient. The pool is a great place to begin back stabilization for those who cannot comfortably exercise on land. The buoyancy of the water decreases pain and increases the chance of success. For most of these patients, our goal is to transition to a land-based exercise program and return to normal activities.

Post Surgery Patients

Providence Physical & Aquatic Therapy provides comprehensive post-operative rehabilitation services for patients undergoing total hip replacement and total knee replacement. The water is a great place to begin movement after surgery. Hip and knee surgery patients find the warm water especially nice. The combination of warmth and buoyancy allows for increased movement and a more normal gait. Patients are able to work from deep water to shallow and slowly increase weight bearing. Shoulder surgery patients are encouraged by the assistance they get from the water to move through range of motion.

Other Programs

Recent studies have shown aquatic exercise to be very effective in relieving pain and improving function for people struggling with knee arthritis or fibromyalgia. The pool is also a great place to work on balance to reduce fall risk. Women who struggle with back pain during pregnancy can get relieft with aquatic exercise.