Aquatic Therapy at Northwestern Medicine

Aquatic Therapy at Northwestern Medicine

Aquatic (water) therapy takes place in a pool. It can adults and children who find it hard to move or exercise in a typical therapy session. Depending on your needs and goals, aquatic therapy may be used alone or with a land-based therapy program. Patients have reported that they can move better and with less pain during aquatic therapy.

To learn more or schedule a visit for aquatic therapy at Northwestern Medicine, please call 630.933.1500.

How Does It Help

Most people can move more easily in water. Water reduces the impact and pressure on your body. This may help you do physical therapy with less pain and effort. Other benefits may include:

  • Less muscle tightness
  • Less swelling
  • Support from the buoyancy of the water so you can practice standing and walking with less fear of falling
  • A better range of motion
  • More strength

Your therapist will create a physical therapy plan that may focus on

  • Strengthening
  • Stretching
  • Core strengthening
  • Overall gait (walking) and mobility

As you progress through your therapy, your therapist will give you exercises to help you improve your function and mobility outside of the pool. You can use these in your everyday life.


Who May Benefit From Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic therapy may be part of care plans for many different conditions and injuries, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Balance disorders
  • Bursitis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Long-term pain
  • Deconditioning
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Joint pain
  • Low back pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sprains and strains
  • Stroke recovery
  • Tendonitis

What to Expect

You may get a prescription from your physician for aquatic therapy. Or, your physical therapist may recommend it based on their initial evaluation of your health and needs.

Safety in the pool is important.

  • There are stairs and railings to enter the pool.
  • The pool has a chair lift for people who cannot use the stairs.
  • A railing inside the pool can help with stability and balance.
  • You do not need to know how to swim.

You will not be asked to put your head underwater.

Locations & Contact Information