Water physical therapy refers to water exercises to treat various types of affections and injuries – it is also called aquatic rehabilitation.

Water Physical Therapy

Water physical therapy has many health benefits over the traditional physical therapy. In addition to being relaxing and enjoyable it offers:


Water helps to support the weight of the body, which allows people with limited range of motion to bend, stretch, and move in ways difficult to do on land. Those who cannot walk outside of the pool often find that they can enjoy water walking as a form of therapy and exercise.

Joint protection:

Water provides the buoyancy needed to protect injured and recovering joints from the damaging shock and impact that is often felt when exercising on land. Exercising in water allows you to reap the benefits of rehabilitation exercises while protecting their fragile joints from further injury or damage.


The high level of resistance and hydrostatic pressure, increase the intensity exercises while being gentle on your body.

Water Therapy Infographic

Who can benefit from water physical therapy?

  • People who are recovering from surgery, injury or need rehabilitation services
  • The elderly or people who are seeking a gentle, effective exercise.
    – As we age, joint pain can make traditional exercise more difficult.
  • People those who want to lose weight or get fit
  • Anyone who wants to improve their physical abilities and fitness
    – water aerobics does the job
  • * Water can also be and ideal medium to give birth naturally will less pain.

Water physical therapy for medical conditions

Exercising in water has many applications and it’s especially beneficial to people who deal with certain physical health issues or conditions, including:

Arthritis treatments

Arthritis and Joint pain infographicsIn arthritis treatments, doctors prescribe water exercises, bathing in mineral waters, along with hydro-massage and, mud wraps. Arthritis sufferer can benefit from these kind of treatments either at home or at specialized healing centers like spa therapy resorts

Water Exercising for people suffering from asthma

Elder person being helped by a water therapy specialist
Elder person being helped
by a water therapy specialist

Traditional exercises can often cause a person with asthma to become winded and struggle for breath. Slow paced, gentle aquatic rehabilitation exercises are best suited for those with asthma.

For asthmatic people, water exercising can:

  • enhance mucus clearance by increasing the muscles activity in the respiratory system,
  • improve lung capacity and circulation while reducing the risk of asthma attacks during exercise.

Stress and Depression

Water Relaxation - Flotation
Water Relaxation by Flotation

Flotation in water is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable feelings. It’s all about the sense of being weightless and almost losing the sense of reality. It is well-known that flotation tanks (also known as isolation tanks) are used for meditation and relaxation.

*Salt water is more suitable for flotation exercise, because it sustains the body with almost no effort.
Sea bathing has an increased benefit in recovering from stress, due to the marine environment.

Visually impaired people can also benefit from water

Swimming therapy
Swimming therapy

Being in a pool of water greatly increases the sense of touch. The water stimulates the surface of the skin, which transforms the sense of touch to a primary sense. This can give the visually impaired the confidence to move and interact in ways that are intimidating on dry land. Read more about physical water therapy benefits for the visually impaired.