Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic therapy is a physical therapy treatment done in a therapeutic pool providing an opportunity for patients to exercise with low impact.  Pain is often reduced or eliminated in aquatic therapy because water supports the body and reduces weight bearing on the joints.  Often, movements are more comfortable allowing the patient to increase endurance and strength with less soreness or stiffness than in traditional therapies.  Aquatic therapy can also help decrease swelling, improve proprioception, decrease muscle spasms and increase blood flow.  


Our new state-of-the-art therapeutic pool is kept at a comfortable temperature of 92-94 degrees. The pool features an underwater treadmill to normalize gait, variable depths for treading water,  ergonomic stairs and a lift chair. Our therapists work one-on-one with patients to increase strength, improve balance, and reduce pain.


The following conditions are often treated with aquatic therapy. 

  • Arthritis and Fibromyalgia 
  • Back and spine conditions including herniated disc and back pain
  • Chronic pain 
  • Neurological conditions including Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Obesity
  • Orthopedic conditions affecting the neck, shoulders, hips and legs
  • Pediatric conditions 
  • Rehabilitation following surgery
  • Sport related injuries
  • Work related injuries 


There are many benefits of aquatic therapy.  Some of the benefits include: 

  • Decreased muscle spasms
  • Decreased pain
  • Decreased swelling 
  • Improved cardiovascular function
  • Improved gait and posture
  • Increased balance and coordination 
  • Increased circulation 
  • Increased range of motion and flexibility 
  • Increased strength and endurance 
  • Joint protection while exercising 
  • Reduction of stress and impact on the body 


What you need to know to begin Aquatic Therapy at The Bellevue Hospital: 

  1. A physician's referral is required to participate in aquatic therapy.
  2. A physical therapist will evaluate and develop a plan of care based upon the diagnosis, current level and goals of each patient.
  3. The treatment is provided by licensed staff trained in aquatic therapy. 
  4. You do not have to know how to swim to participate in aquatic therapy.  You will never be left unattended. 
  5. Pool sessions usually last between 45 - 60 minutes.
  6. All patients must check in at the front desk.  
  7. Locker rooms with private showers are available.  Patients must provide their own lock.
  8. Towels are provided, however, you may bring your own. 
  9. Patients must bring shoes or flip flops to wear from the locker room to the pool area. 
  10. Only patients are allowed into the pool during treatment to maintain patient privacy.


The Bellevue Hospital's Rehabilitation Department now offers one-hour supervised exercise sessions daily, Monday through Friday, at variable times.

Signing up ahead of time is required to reserve a time. Please call 419.483.4040, Ext. 4279 for more information.