Aquatic Therapy

Depending on your needs, your rehabilitation plan may include aquatic therapy. This is a type of physical therapy performed in a pool heated at 90 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. It can help to restore strength and movement through the use of buoyancy, resistance, and heat. 

Therapy can involve active exercise or passive immersion. Performing rehabilitation exercises in Cheshire Medical Center's therapeutic pool can help you have more control over your movement. It can also reduce your pain as your body is partly supported by the buoyancy of the water. 

Who may benefit from aquatic therapy?

Aquatic therapy may help if you have a neurological disorder, an orthopaedic or postoperative condition, osteoporosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other forms of chronic pain. Pediatric and prenatal patients may also benefit from the use of our pool. 

Why is aquatic therapy beneficial?

  • Water gives you freedom from gravity that can help you strengthen limbs that aren't yet weight-bearing. This can shorten the duration of your rehabilitation. 
  • Exercising in water also reduces pressure on your joints, so you can perform exercises that are too hard or too painful to do on land. 
  • You are more likely to perform exercises when you experience less discomfort. Practicing your exercises regularly will help you heal faster.
  • You can improve your balance without fear of falling or injury. 
  • You may achieve a better range of motion in the water. 
  • The warm water relaxes your muscles, making it easier to exercise without discomfort.
  • You will experience less physical stress while exercising in the water, which is easier on your heart and aids circulation. Better circulation also helps you heal.

Who leads aquatic therapy sessions?

Your primary therapist may conduct your one-on-one aquatic therapy sessions, but Holly Calhoun, PTA, leads most of them. Holly has over 15 years’ experience creating aquatic rehab treatments for many types of patients. Heather McLean, PT, Lead Therapist, conducts therapy sessions with those in our acute inpatient rehab unit. 

Do I need to know how to swim?

No. You can perform exercises while standing or with the assistance of a flotation device. You will be under the constant supervision of your therapist. You will know ahead of time which appointments will be in the pool so you can prepare by bringing a bathing suit. 

Aquatic therapy routines for chronic pain

If you live with chronic pain, you may find that a pool is the only place you can comfortably gain all the benefits of exercise. Our therapists can all design therapeutic exercise routines for you to do on your own in a local pool. Ask your aquatic therapist for more information. 

Prenatal aquatic therapy

In addition to individual rehabilitation sessions, we also offer group prenatal classes each Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. Registration is required. Please call 603-354-6630.

Do I need a referral for outpatient rehabilitation therapy?

You need a referral from your primary physical therapist for use of the therapeutic pool. If you are not already being treated by a physical therapist, talk to your primary care provider or other specialists for a referral.