Aquatic Physical Therapy

When land-based exercises are not possible because of disability and pain, Aquatic Therapy offers the unique healing benefits of water:  a gentler, more beneficial environment in which to rapidly improve mobility, strength, and function.

Aquatic Physical Therapy is recommended for patients undergoing treatment for:

  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Injuries to the neck, shoulder, low back, knee and ankle
  • Rehabilitation after surgery
  • Chronic pain
  • Work-related injuries requiring rapid rehabilitation

How it works

Water supports the weight of the body, reduces stress and pain, and provides gentle resistance to rapidly promote strengthening and conditioning while reducing the risk of further injury.  The relaxing sounds and warmth of the water can make Aquatic Therapy a more pleasurable patient experience.

Aquatic Therapy has been associated with a variety of beneficial outcomes, including improved circulation, strength, and endurance; increased range of motion and flexibility; decreases in swelling; and a faster return to normal activity.

Benefits of Aquatic Physical Therapy

Often after an injury or surgery, a patient's sensitivity to pain is increased and the ability to bear weight on the injured area is limited. In water, the pull of gravity on the body is not as strong as on land, so motion and functional activity is more comfortable. Water supports the body, reduces joint stress, and provides resistance and assistance to movement in a truly unique manner. Patients can improve mobility, strength, and function rapidly during the healing process.

Patients in our Aquatic Physical Therapy program may experience the following benefits:

  • Accelerated rehabilitation
  • Protection of joints during exercise
  • Reduced stress
  • Decreased swelling
  • Improvements in gait or posture
  • Increased circulation
  • Increased strength and endurance
  • Increased range of motion and flexibility
  • Increased balance and coordination
  • Increased muscle tone

Our Staff

Aquatic physical therapy complements traditional, land-based physical therapy programs. Licensed physical therapists and physical therapy assistants who are trained and certified in aquatic therapy develop and administer a treatment plan for our patients.

Patients work one-on-one with their therapist and are never left unattended while in the pool.

What Happens at an Aquatic Therapy Session?

  • Patients do not have to know how to swim to participate in Aquatic Physical Therapy.
  • Each session is individually designed to meet the patient's needs and utilizes different equipment depending upon the nature of the condition.
  • Treatment may include a warm-up followed by balance and stabilization exercises, strengthening,
  • A treatment session may last from 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Land exercises and manual or hands-on therapy may also be prescribed in a patient's plan of treatment.

Our State-of-the-Art Facility

The Jefferson Hospital Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center houses a HydroWorx 1000 rehabilitation pool. This revolutionary piece of therapeutic equipment features an integrated treadmill, resistance jets, and an underwater monitoring system that allows the patient and therapist to observe and correct movement patterns.


Jefferson Regional Medical Center
565 Coal Valley Road
Jefferson Hills, PA 15025
412-469-5000

Physician Referral:
412-469-7000

Community Programs:
412-469-7100

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