What is aquatic therapy?

Aquatic physical therapy patients at Bryn Mawr Rehab, especially those recovering from a severe injury or major surgery, can use water therapy as a confidence-building step to regaining their strength.

Aquatic therapy combines the special properties of warm water with physical and occupational therapy to help patients make the best recovery possible. Through the program at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, warm water helps patients relax, enhances functional movement, and boosts confidence and ability.

Many program participants are recovering from a sports injury, joint replacement, spinal cord injury, brain injury or stroke. Teens and adults of any age can benefit from this type of therapy, which can be particularly helpful for those who'd like to keep active despite suffering from arthritis, muscular dystrophy or other degenerative joint disorders.

Benefits of aquatic therapy

Stretching, walking or other gentle exercises in a warm water therapy pool offer many critical benefits to people who are just getting back on their feet, including:

  • Buoyancy that reduces stress on joints and muscles
  • Gentle resistance that builds strength and endurance over time
  • Improved circulation
  • Decreased pain and muscle spasms
  • Increased range of motion and flexibility
  • A sense of relaxation and well-being that encourages exercise

At Bryn Mawr Rehab, we keep our therapeutic pool at 92°F, the ideal temperature for relieving pain and keeping patients comfortable. The pool has a ramp, stairs and lift to make it accessible to people with a variety of conditions.

In addition to traditional water therapy techniques, we encourage patients to heal and improve by using creative therapies. For weak core balance, for example, we've used kayaking exercises to improve side-to-side strength and stability.

Aquatic therapy program options at Bryn Mawr Rehab

Our experienced staff members, trained in water safety and therapy, facilitate three programs to meet inpatient, outpatient and community needs.

  • Inpatient program: Our inpatient program operates individual and group sessions five days a week.
  • Outpatient program: The outpatient program offers day and evening hours to best accommodate busy participants.
  • Community program: Our community program provides a self-pay maintenance option for those who would benefit from continuing aquatic therapy after physical therapy has ended.

A physician's prescription is required for aquatic therapy at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital and can be made on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

Related specialties

Orthopaedic Rehab

As one of the most extensive programs at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, our primary focus is to help patients build strength, mobility and endurance for a variety of orthopaedic conditions.

Vestibular Therapy

At Bryn Mawr Rehab we help patients with chronic or acute dizziness and vertigo get back to active, normal living. With several outpatient locations in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, there’s sure to be a vestibular therapist near you.

Medical Rehab

Combining medical practice with therapeutic rehabilitation, the inpatient medical rehab program supports patients with a wide range of acute or chronic conditions that cause temporary or permanent disability. Our goal is always to help patients regain as much independence as possible.

Stroke and Neurointervention

Main Line Health is one of few community health systems offering state-of-the-art neurointervention care. Through our collaboration with the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, our Neurointervention Program is an accredited thrombectomy-capable stoke center.

Brain Injury Rehab

Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital was one of the first facilities in the country to offer traumatic and nontraumatic inpatient brain injury rehab as well as outpatient brain injury rehab and has remained one of the best rehabilitation hospitals for brain injury treatment in the Philadelphia region for more than 30 years.

Physical Therapy

Each inpatient and outpatient physical therapy rehab is individually designed and administered by a licensed physical therapist who consistently guides you from that first visit all the way through recovery.

Joint Replacement

Whether your journey leads to hip or knee replacement or some other type of treatment that relieves your day-to-day pain and improves mobility, Main Line Health walks with you from pre-op arrangements to on-site physical therapy to recovering soundly at home—and everything in between.

Sports Medicine Rehab

As part of our specialized treatment for each athlete, sports injury rehab includes use of therapies and training exercises that not only mimic the demands of your sport but also address the unique conditions of the specific position you play within your sport.

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