Sports Medicine

Aquatic Therapy

For generations, aquatic therapy has been known to improve movement, strength and function, as well as reduce pain. URMC Sports and Spine Rehabilitation, a Program of URMC Orthopaedics & Physical Performance offers an alternative form of rehabilitation that can be used in conjunction with, or prior to, more traditional land-based outpatient therapies.

The unique properties of water help to facilitate mobility and exercise, making the pool an excellent medium for rehabilitating individuals with orthopaedic, neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. Our new state-of-the-art pool, at our Penfield location, provides an opportunity for patients to exercise and gain strength — with less pain and greater ease of movement — in a comfortable environment.

Who Benefits from Aquatic Therapy?

Aquatic therapy as an effective treatment option for individuals with a variety of diagnoses and orthopaedic conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Balance and gait disturbances
  • Chronic pain
  • Knee, hip and ankle injuries
  • Neck, shoulder or lower back problems
  • Pre- and post-orthopaedic/spinal surgeries
  • Pregnancy-related low back/sciatic pain
  • Sports and work-related injuries

How Our Program Works

Individuals referred to our aquatic therapy program will receive an initial land-based evaluation. Following this evaluation, patients referred to the pool program will be scheduled for aquatic therapy sessions at our Penfield office as part of a combined land-pool rehabilitation program. Our team of licensed and Aquatic Therapy & Rehabilitation Institute-certified therapists will develop a customized aquatic exercise and treatment program to meet each patient’s specific goals.

Our program has been specifically designed to meet the needs of patients at all fitness levels and stages of the rehabilitation process, offering services ranging from individualized one-on-one care to group based fitness and wellness programs. All sessions are supervised by a licensed therapist.

Although aquatic therapy is not recommended for patients with certain medical conditions, the vast majority of people can participate. Swimming ability is not necessary to participate.

Features of the Therapeutic Pool

All aquatic therapy sessions are held in a state-of the-art, in-ground pool heated at 92°F. Pool depths range from 3’6” to 6’6” and can be varied to best meet each patient’s rehabilitative needs and/or goals. Depending on mobility level, patients will safely enter and exit the pool using either the pool steps and railing or mechanical lift. A therapist is always available to provide assistance.

What to Expect

Aquatic therapy sessions last approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Patients should arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment. Showering is required before entering the water. Please bring a swimsuit, towel, non-slip footwear/sandals and, if desired, goggles. Lockers with provided locks are available to store belongings. Subsequent visits can also be scheduled at the front desk following therapy sessions.

During each session, a rehabilitation therapist works one-on-one with patients to decrease their pain and enhance their function by improving:

  • Balance and coordination
  • Body mechanics
  • Endurance
  • Mobility
  • Range of motion
  • Sports performance
  • Strength

More Information

For more information on our Aquatic Therapy Program or to make a referral, please call (585) 851-0700.

Please Note: Most insurance carriers cover aquatic therapy. Patients filing through insurance should contact their carrier prior to their visit to verify coverage.

Medicine of the Highest Order