Aquatic physical therapy is the evidence-based and skilled practice of physical therapy in an aquatic environment by a physical therapist, or a physical therapist assistant under the supervision of a physical therapist. Aquatic physical therapy includes but is not limited to treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, health, wellness, and fitness of patient populations in an aquatic environment with or without the use of assistive, adaptive, orthotic, protective, or supportive devices and equipment.
The unique properties of the aquatic environment enhance interventions for patients across the age span with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and integumentary diseases, disorders, or conditions.
Aquatic physical therapy interventions are designed to improve or maintain:
- Aerobic capacity/endurance conditioning.
- Balance, coordination, and agility.
- Body mechanics and postural stabilization.
- Gait and locomotion.
- Muscle strength, power, and endurance interventions used in aquatic physical therapy include, but are not limited to therapeutic exercise, functional training, manual therapy, breathing strategies, electrotherapeutic modalities, physical agents and mechanical modalities using the properties of water and techniques unique to the aquatic environment.
For more information about aquatic therapy, please visit the American Physical Therapy Association’s website.
Click here to view a video about SwimEx Aqua Therapy.