The Benefits of Aquatic Physical Therapy

The combination of the warmth, decreased gravitational loads and the resistance of water as well as the expertise of a specially trained aquatic Physical Therapist combine for the perfect environment to improve strength, range of motion and function following an injury. Often, due to the severity or irritability of an injury, water based physical therapy can be preferable to land based physical therapy. 

Exercising with the above unique qualities allow for:

  • A non-impact environment allowing for joint distraction and relief of joint pain and inflammation
  • An increase in joint and muscle flexibility
  • The warmth of the water massages and relieves muscle pain and spasms.
  • A quicker recovery as water therapy can often be started sooner than land therapy
  • A resistive and cardiovascular work out


Aquatic Therapy may be beneficial for individuals with the following conditions:

  • Arthritis or joint related pathologies of the spine including disc herniations, degenerative disc or joint disease and spinal stenosis
  • Post-operative care including joint replacements, shoulder surgery, fracture repairs and spinal surgeries.
  • Muscle spasms and strains/joint sprains
  • Neurological conditions including stroke and traumatic brain injury
  • Return to running or sport


If you are unsure as the whether you may be an appropriate candidate for aquatic therapy, it is best to undergo a thorough initial examination with a licensed Physical Therapist.

Feel free to mention your interest in water based therapy!!!


By Todd Sparks PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS