Aquatic Therapy

Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics offers aquatic therapy which includes balance and gait training to speed recovery after surgery or sports injury and to address the limitations of arthritis. Aquastretch and Bad Ragaz are two techniques that help restore flexibility and decrease pain in 1-2 visits, and you do not need to know how to swim to benefit from aquatic therapy.

During aquatic therapy, the resistance created by water fosters muscle strength, balance and decreased joint stress that can’t be experienced on land. It’s ideal for people with intense pain, weight-bearing limitations, or healing bone fractures, and is a great transition to land therapy.

One benefit of aquatic therapy is the buoyancy provided by the water. While submerged in water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the patient, reduces the force of stress placed on the joints, and allows a greater range of motion. Being in the water after hip or knee surgery allows freer movement through bigger ranges of motion, supports the process of relearning to walk, and helps participants perform exercises comfortably that might be painful on land.

Aquatic Therapy for Runners

Many runners are aware of biking, elliptical, and non-weight bearing “cross training” options to utilize after an injury. Aquatic exercise, when used at the correct time after injury or surgery, benefits the whole body by restoring core, arm, back, hip and leg strength and flexibility.

Programs in the pool generally begin with walking in waist deep water. When weight bearing is limited by the surgeon, deep water activities like biking, cross country skiing, jumping jacks and wall squats can be performed with flotation devices such as a float belt, noodle or balance rings. Leg raises and core exercises with a pool kick board are also used for core strengthening.

Supported by the PTA, runners will also learn how to use a jogging tether, which can help correct bad postures and improper heel strike and toe off while guarding rotation of the hip and knee.

Aquatic Therapy Providers


Patricia Galyon, PTA, ATRIC, is certified in aquatic therapy by the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute. She has been practicing at Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics since 2001.

Aquatic Therapy Benefits

  • Improved joint flexibility
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Increased muscle strength and endurance
  • Enhanced aerobic capacity
  • Decreased pain
For aquatic therapy information or scheduling, call (423) 624-2696 x 1005. 

CSMO’s aquatic therapy pool is a thermoneutral 92 degrees, ideal for most orthopaedic issues. Water provides an excellent source of resistance that can easily be incorporated into an aquatic therapy exercise program. This resistance allows for muscle strengthening without the need for weights. The warm water also helps to relax muscles that are sore or tight.

At CSMO, each patient’s therapy program is specially designed by a certified aquatic therapist and is appropriate for swimmers and non-swimmers. Our goal is to help each patient return to activities they enjoy, improve balance and strength, and address painful areas through manual therapy techniques.

Aquatic rehabilitation services are available at our McCallie Avenue location. To schedule an appointment or learn more about rehabilitation or aquatic therapy services, call (423) 624-2696 x 1005.

How to Prepare for Aquatic Therapy

  • Take all your medicines.
  • Drink water and eat a moderate meal before your aquatic therapy session.
  • Wear swim trunks, shorts or capris and a t-shirt; no need for a bathing suit.
  • Bring a water bottle to the pool to avoid dehydration.
  • Bring a towel and water shoes.
  • Bring a snack for after your session.
  • Have fun!