Cantrell Center for Physical Therapy, Sports Medicine, & Wellness Aquatic Physical Therapy FAQ | Cantrell Center for Physical Therapy, Sports Medicine, & Wellness
Cantrell Center Physical Therapy and Wellness

Aquatic Physical Therapy FAQ

Cantrell Center Pool

1. Do I have to know how to swim?
2. What if I’m afraid of the water?
3. What should I wear to my aquatic physical therapy session?
4. My doctor sent me for whirlpool, is that aquatic therapy?
5. What do I need to bring with me to my aquatic physical therapy sessions?
6. How do I go about becoming an aquatic therapy patient?
7. What if I’m incontinent?
8. Is this like water aerobics?
9. Where will I change clothes?
10. Will I be working with my therapist “one on one”?

1. Do I have to know how to swim?
It is not necessary to know how to swim in order to participate in aquatic physical therapy. The maximum depth of the pool is only four and a half feet. Think of it as a big bath tub.

Top


2. What if I’m afraid of the water?
We have many patients who were afraid of the water before beginning aquatic physical therapy. We work very closely with them in shallower water until they become comfortable…and they all do.

Top


3. What should I wear to my aquatic physical therapy session?
Many people wear bathing suits for aquatic physical therapy sessions, but any clothes that you don’t mind getting wet are okay with us. Some wear shorts and t-shirts just because they aren’t comfortable in a bathing suit… that’s okay.

Top


4. My doctor sent me for whirlpool, is that aquatic therapy?
There is a difference between whirlpool and aquatic physical therapy. Typically, whirlpool is a passive modality for reduction of muscle spasm or, if sterile, for wound management. Aquatic physical therapy is a dynamic treatment plan in which the participant is engaged with the clinician in active participation for treatment.

Top


5. What do I need to bring with me to my aquatic physical therapy sessions?
When you come for aquatic physical therapy, bring clothes for the pool, a change of clothes, water shoes (these are simply shoes to protect your feet from scuffing on the bottom of the pool and can be purchased at any variety store), and a towel.

Top


6. How do I go about becoming an aquatic therapy patient?
To become an aquatic physical therapy patient, you will need a prescription for physical therapy from your doctor. The prescription does not necessarily have to say “aquatic physical therapy”. This decision is between you and your physical therapist. Many physicians do specifically prescribe aquatic physical therapy for their patients and that’s no problem. Keep in mind that the decision rests with you. Discuss it with your doctor and you both may agree that a physical therapy evaluation for aquatics may be in order.

Top


7. What if I’m incontinent?
Special garments are available for those patients who are incontinent. Incontinence of bladder is manageable, however, bowel incontinence may limit you from using the pool. Speak to your therapist for more information.

Top


8. Is this like water aerobics?
Aquatic physical therapy is different than water aerobics. Patients receiving aquatic therapy are closely supervised by their physical therapist as diagnosis-specific treatment is carried out in the unique, nearly gravity-eliminated environment. Water aerobics is a group-oriented activity offered by The Cantrell Wellness Center.

Top


9. Where will I change clothes?
The Cantrell Center offers deluxe dressing facilities, private showers, and handicap accessibility.

Top


10. Will I be working with my therapist “one on one”?
The typical arrangement for aquatic physical therapy is one on one interaction with your physical therapy clinician. There are some group opportunities available for those who have achieved a greater level of independence.

Top