Aquatic Physical

We are happy to announce that here at First Choice PT, we are now able to share the benefits of aquatic physical therapy with our valued clients! From the hot springs of Ancient Greece and Rome, to the thermal waters used by Swiss monks and to the iconic Japanese hot springs, water therapy has been used all over the world for thousands of years!

water jets in a pool

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Aqua therapy can improve your flexibility, balance, and coordination while building muscle strength and endurance, and assisting with gait and motion. Warm water is used to create an environment that relaxes and soothes aching joints and muscles. Buoyancy also reduces the pressure on joints and muscles by reducing the effects of gravity while exercising.

If you have balance issues, the hydrostatic pressure of the pool stabilizes so that you can perform exercises without fear of falling, and through wave propagation, therapists can easily manipulate the client through assigned exercises. Through this process, respiratory muscles are forced to work harder, resulting in natural strengthening that continues to be beneficial long after you leave the pool.

Aquatic physical therapy uses the following water properties to heal you:

  • Buoyancy
  • Turbulence
  • Pressure & Drag
women exercising in a pool

Is Aquatic Therapy An Option for My Condition?

Aquatic physical therapy is applicable to a lengthy list of conditions, and can be recommended to clients of all ages. It is easy for therapists to take age into account when creating a water therapy program.

Conditions for which water therapy may be recommended to you include arthritis, autism, lower back pain, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and more. It is especially helpful to those suffering from balance disorders or idiopathic joint pain who will have difficulty following through on physical therapy exercises without the assistance of water.

man swimming in a pool

When Is Aquatic Therapy not Applicable?

With the long list of ailments aquatic therapy can assist with, it’s important to be aware that there are conditions that are not suited to this type of therapy. If you suffer from open wounds, incontinence, or seizures, this treatment is not for you. Any symptoms that will put you off balance, or injuries that could cause contamination are not recommended for aquatic treatment.

Aquatic Therapy for All-Around Fitness Goals

Aquatic therapy sessions are divided into four segments:

  • Warm-up
  • Fitness & Strength Training
  • Core Training
  • Cool Down

The strength you build through jogging, walking, plyometrics and core training will work towards your therapy and generally keep your fitness levels up. Many clients are shocked at how much easier exercise is when practiced in the water and who doesn’t love to escape the summer heat from time to time and get into a pool?

therapist helping a woman stretch her legs

Sports Physical Therapy

Sports physical therapy differs from everyday injuries as athletes regularly have high demand on their bodies. For professional athletes, it is especially important that they have as little downtime as possible when injured. Sports therapists have a strong background in orthopedics (therapy involving the musculoskeletal system) and work with athletes of all levels as well as the average active citizen. Even if you’re a weekend warrior, you can benefit from physical therapy to avoid injury and recover should an accident occur.

man running outside while listening to music through earbuds

Common Sports-Related Injuries


Tears in the rotator cuff are a common shoulder complaint. A stiff joint limiting mobility is called a “frozen” shoulder and is equally problematic.


The elbow experiences the famous injury dubbed “tennis elbow,” involving a pain in the joint that makes it difficult to grip properly. The elbow can also experience fractures and nerve damage. It is important to receive treatment immediately, as elbows are a prime candidate for injury recurrence.


Sports using the wrist such as basketball make you susceptible to injury. Sprains, tendonitis, and even arthritis and carpal tunnel can occur. It is best to receive regular treatment to catch these before they happen.


Your hips can become inflamed and experience muscle strains. This generally happens from overuse since the hip is a part of our core.


Knee pain is a common complaint in the sports industry. No matter what you’re doing, you’re using your knees. They are susceptible to many injuries including cartilage and ligaments, dislocation, and even arthritis. Catch the cause fast so it does not become a recurring issue.


Who hasn’t sprained their ankle? Whether you’re running and jumping for a sport, exercise or just to get to the bus, ankles can twist in a second and affect your movement for the rest of the day.


The most common complaint in the physical therapy world in general, back pain is a large portion of what sports physical therapists treat. Overuse, insufficient stretching and other trauma can not only cause pain, but long-term conditions such as spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. These are conditions that result in the defect or slippage of the vertebra. Back injuries are fairly common in sports that hyperextend the spine, such as gymnastics.

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