Aquatic Therapy for Joint and Muscle Strengthening in Philadelphia PA

Aquatic therapy is also called hydrotherapy, water therapy, pool therapy, or therapeutic aquatic exercise and provides a safe and effective environment to positively impact movement, strength and function. Aquatic therapy is performed under the supervision of a trained healthcare professional and helps people with a wide range of disorders requiring rehabilitation, such as arthritis, back injuries, as well as people who have had joint replacement surgery. Skilled pool therapy is an individualized treatment program developed by a licensed therapist based on the patient's evaluation.

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Patients who are injured, disabled, post-surgery or severely limited with activity and cannot comfortably or safely perform weight bearing exercise due to pain or weakness, can do very well with water-based therapy. Our Aqua therapy is performed in a 98-degree pool. The warm water helps to improve range of motion, decrease pain, relax sore muscles and joints.

The warmth, buoyancy, and resistive property of water can help reduce pain and stiffness, maintain flexibility and enhance functional mobility.

  • Aquatic therapy takes place in a specially designed, heated, 8,000-gallon therapeutic pool with a depth of 4 feet and 5 feet.
  • The temperature of our pool is 98 degrees.
  • Water therapy reduces you weight taking pressure and stress off the muscles and joints of your arms, legs and spine. While in the warm water environment you will feel immediate muscle relaxation and increased blood flow to the injured areas.
  • Water therapy is a wonderful environment that allows you to move your joints and spine even when in severe pain.
  • Increased buoyancy allows us to work on your balance problems commonly occurring after surgery or after a traumatic event. There is no worry about falling because you simply float. We incorporate a variety of flotation belts and devices that assist in your water-based rehabilitative exercises.
  • With the use of resistive devices such as flotation dumbbells, water paddles and weights, you can build strength in a very comfortable and relaxing environment without significant pressure to your joints.

We have an Ozone pool, which DOES NOT require use of chlorine or bromide as a chemical to kill germs. These chemicals can cause irritation, burning of the skin and allergic dermatitis, respiratory distress and can damage your bathing suite. These chemicals are often used in most pools. Our pool will not cause these ill effects and are very safe affects. Ozone has a higher rate of killing germs and when exposed to the water will convert to Oxygen.

In the aqua room ceiling, we have installed Vita shields that bring air into the lighting fixture and expose it to strong UV light that kills bacteria and viruses. When you have finished your water therapy session, we have direct UV light that cleans all of the pool’s exposed area which ensures a safe and clean environment.

Conditions that respond well with aquatic therapy

  • Acute pain
  • Arthritis
  • Arthroscopic surgery recovery
  • Back pain
  • Balance disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Disc injuries with radiating pain
  • Joint reconstruction/replacement surgery recovery
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Obesity
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS), a central nervous system disease *(for those patients who know they can tolerate heated pool condition.)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Stress
  • Sports related injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation ie discectomy, disc fusions, hip replacement, knee surgery, rotator cuff repairs

Aquatic Therapy Promotes

  • Relaxation in very warm water
  • Easing of pain
  • Better joint and spine movements
  • Better vascular response (better blood flow)
  • Increased muscular strength with improved endurance (especially using our Underwater Treadmill)
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Quicker return to more activities of daily living
  • Improved gait and locomotion
  • Stress reduction and relaxation
  • Buoyancy that allows for flotation and reduces the effects of gravity on injured or aching joints and muscles. The properties of water can reduce your body weight in the pool from 30% lighter to fully floating with no weight bearing.
  • Following a course of water treatment, you should be able to progress to a land- based exercise program.

People of all ages can enjoy water therapy benefits, including children with musculoskeletal injuries or special needs as well as senior citizens. Our trained therapist can create an individualized treatment program that takes into account any age-related physical limitations to promote a positive therapeutic experience.

The suitability for aquatic therapy for a client should be decided on a case-by-case basis. Here are some situations where aquatic therapy may not be an appropriate course of treatment:
· High fever
· Open wounds (unless covered with bio-occlusive dressing)
· Incontinence
· Uncontrolled seizure disorders
· Respiratory conditions
· Currently taking medications that could alter cognition
· Client is currently pregnant and experiencing complications. If you are pregnant, we require a prescription from your obstetrician for medical clearance.
· Serious fear of water
· Clients with Hepatitis A

Our pool and locker rooms have the VidaShield (a device that sucks the surrounding air and exposes it to UV A and UV B light to kill bacteria.).


Despite the many benefits of aqua therapy, some clients are hesitant to try this form of rehabilitation. For example, wearing a swimsuit in a public space can feel uncomfortable for clients or in the case of religious reasons that would not allow someone of the opposite sex to be present. To address these issues our patients are instructed:

  • to wear whatever they are comfortable in when in the pool, as long as it is loose- fitting. They can be fully clothed in the pool to help with any uncomfortable feelings or for any religious concerns
  • If they cannot be in the pool with the opposite sex, we will arrange for a time that prohibits patients of the opposite sex from entering during their scheduled time.

Some clients may also physically struggle to dress properly for a therapy session.

  • We will provide assistance for any patient unable to dress or shower

Our aquatic therapy pool and dressing rooms are separate from other therapy areas so that the session is semi-private.