Aquatic Therapy

» Aquatic Therapy
Share this page

Make an Appointment

Aqua Therapy in Midtown East Manhattan NYC

Aquatic Physical Therapy in Midtown East Manhattan

Aquatic Physical Therapy in Midtown East Manhattan offers individualized sessions to patients of all ages and with a variety of conditions in our heated 20 ft x 40 ft pool.  Our specially trained Aquatic Physical Therapists will create a program with your unique needs and goals in mind.  

The natural properties of water can be used in several ways to assist in the rehabilitation process. The buoyancy of the water allows for freedom of movement with little stress on the joints, having a positive effect on motion, flexibility, and strength.  The hydrostatic pressure of the water improves circulation and blood flow, resulting in decreased swelling, thus enhancing the healing process of injured tissues. The uniform pressure of water also increases support of your body which reduces the fear of falling for those with balance problems, thus facilitating the ability to perform standing exercises. For those who have difficulty walking due to pain, balance, coordination, or strength problems, aquatic therapy can be especially beneficial.  The ability to walk with less weight lessens the physical demands, and the added benefit of the waters’ resistance can help strengthen weak muscles, resulting in improved walking on land. If you have undergone a surgical procedure such as a joint replacement, arthroscopic surgery, or back surgery, aquatic therapy is an excellent treatment option to assist in your recuperation. For those who are required to reduce weight bearing through an extremity following surgery, the benefits of therapy in water are immense.  Our pool has a 3 feet shallow and 6 feet deep end, and the sessions can be performed at various depths and may include special equipment such as flotation and resistive devices, depending upon your needs and weight bearing precautions. 

Our aquatic therapy program can be used to prepare you for land based therapy or in addition to it.  Our techniques are diverse and tailored to meet each patients’ specific needs. If you have difficulty walking or performing your normal daily activities, our aquatic program can benefit you. If you are an athlete recovering from an injury, our sports care in Midtown East Manhattan can help return you to your favorite activity. For example, we can return runners to running long before they can run on land.

A typical session starts with a warm-up that can include walking, gentle range of motion activities, and stretches, followed by low-resistance exercises to target affected areas.  You will then be progressed through a series of activities to improve balance and function, ranging from sit to stand, going up and down steps, to getting up and down from the floor. For athletes, your program will be designed to challenge while preventing further injury and might consist of resisted aqua running, resisted strengthening exercises, plyometrics, and agility activities.  Your exercise program will be customized based on your impairments and goals.

Common conditions that could benefit from Aquatic Therapy:

Children and adults of all ages can participate in aquatic therapy and the Aquatic Physical Therapy program in Midtown East Manhattan provides an exceptional, one-on-one program to individuals with many different types of conditions.

  • Sports injuries: ACL and Meniscal tears, Hip Bursitis, Ankle Sprains, Stress Fractures, Hamstring Strains, Shoulder Rotator Cuff tears. Return to your favorite activity can be expedited with the incorporation of aquatic therapy and the sports care in Midtown East Manhattan will assist in achieving your athletic goals.

  • Spine Pain: Low back and Neck pain from injury, arthritis, or postural problems. Exercising in water has a pain-reducing effect, thus improving your ability to perform more activities than you would be able to on land. 

  • Arthritis: The warm qualities of the water in addition to its buoyancy improves the ability to exercise with less pain and joint stress for those with Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis.

  • Post-Surgical: Total Hip Replacements, Total Knee Replacements, Ankle Surgery, Spinal Laminectomies/Spinal Fusion, Arthroscopic Surgery (I.e. ACL reconstruction, Meniscal Repairs, etc), Rotator Cuff Repairs. The ability to adjust the weight bearing requirements in water through using various depths and flotation devices can accelerate the recovery process while adhering to post-surgical precautions. Additionally, other muscles unaffected by the surgery can be strengthened without affecting the surgical site, and cardiovascular fitness can be enhanced during the immobility period.

  • Generalized muscle weakness and deconditioning after hospitalization or prolonged inactivity can be addressed with aquatic therapy.  Water provides an ideal environment to gently assist in improving range of motion, strength, and balance to improve the ability to perform daily activities. 

  • Stroke: Following a Cerebrovascular incident (stroke), individuals can have problems with balance and coordination, weakness, decreased sensation, and difficulty walking and performing daily activities. Aquatic therapy can be helpful in addressing these deficits, while providing the patient with the supportive environment and the necessary assistance from the therapist.  

  • Neuromuscular Disorders: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis (MG), Spinal Cord Injury, Spinal Muscle Atrophy (SMA), Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS).  Aquatic therapy is an ideal form of treatment for those with a neuromuscular condition. The freedom of movement in water can enhance muscle strength and range of motion while allowing the ability to perform activities that might otherwise be difficult or impossible on land.

  • Fibromyalgia: This disorder is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and cognitive difficulties. Aquatic therapy is effective in reducing pain and improving quality of life.

  • Lymphedema: Lymphedema causes swelling that generally occurs in the arms or legs from a blockage in the lymphatic system which is part of your immune system. It is frequently caused by removal of or damage to lymph nodes, often as part of cancer treatment, infection, or in people who are excessively overweight. The hydrostatic pressure generated by water can reduce swelling and improve circulation within the body. Improved circulation means that blood returns more easily to the heart from the extremities, allowing your heart to work more efficiently. Oftentimes, treatments involve use of pressure garments, exercise, and specialized massage therapy, and aquatic therapy can be particularly useful.

  • Cardiac: Coronary Artery Bypass surgery, Angioplasty, Myocardial Infarction (Heart attack), Congestive Heart Failure. Improvement in cardiac efficiency and exercise capacity as well as enhanced muscle function in patients with cardiac impairments can be obtained with aquatic therapy. 

Example of a recent patient who had a successful outcome following Aquatic Therapy in Midtown East Manhattan:

M.L. is a 50 y/o college professor who was struck by a van while riding her bicycle in the city. She sustained multiple rib fractures, lumbar, sacral, and iliac fractures. When she began aquatic therapy, she required a wheelchair due to her inability to put weight through her legs as her fractures were healing.  She was in a tremendous amount of pain and needed to proceed cautiously with strengthening and range of motion exercises.  Water was the perfect environment to address her multiple impairments.  She was able to off-load her lower extremities to maximize her exercise program, and being in the water helped relieve her pain and increased the effectiveness of her program.  As her fractures healed and her weight bearing status was upgraded, she progressed to standing, walking, and balance activities in the pool.  Eventually she was able to return to her normal activities on land without the use of a wheelchair.  She loved working in the pool and it helped her recover from this devastating event.  She eventually was able to return to a workout routine on her own and found a neighborhood pool in which she could continue to make progress.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Do I need to know how to swim or do I have to put my head under water?

No. Much of your therapy will occur in the shallow end where you can stand, sit, or utilize a special flotation device to assist with your exercises.  Your aquatic physical therapist will provide hands-on guidance or assistance depending upon your needs.  For athletes or those who can tolerate a greater challenge, the deep end of the pool can be utilized.

  1. How long are the sessions?

Your session will be approximately 45 minutes depending upon your tolerance.  Thirty of those minutes will be spent directly with your therapist, and the other 15 minutes will be for free time or to work with an assistant.

  1. Do I have to wear a bathing suit and what other equipment will I need?

Though a bathing suit is probably the most simple attire to wear, you may wear shorts, t-shirt, or other lightweight clothing you don’t mind getting wet. Some clients prefer to wear a wet suit. We require you wear water shoes which we sell or you can easily order on line for wearing when walking on the pool deck. Flip flops are not allowed.

  1. What if I have difficulty getting into and out of a pool?

We have a special seated lift that safely lowers you into the pool and can accommodate a person under 300 pounds.  There are also 4 ladders for those who are able to negotiate them.

  1. Is there somewhere I can change and shower?

Yes. There is a locker room to change and a shower on the pool deck. If you are unable to change and shower independently, you will need to have someone accompany you for assistance.

  1. What if I recently had surgery?

Upon clearance from your doctor and once your incision has closed, you can participate in aquatic therapy.  

  1. Will a physical therapist work directly with me, or will I be in a group?

We do not offer group sessions.  You will be working alone with your aquatic therapist.

  1. How can I get aquatic therapy?

If you have a medical or orthopedic diagnosis in which therapy is recommended, you can call to make an appointment.  You should state that you would like to try aquatic therapy.  Insurance does reimburse for this type of therapy, but you will need a prescription from your doctor.  Prior to your first aquatic session, a thorough evaluation will be conducted on land in our clinic to determine your unique needs. The evaluating therapist might recommend a combination of land along with aquatic physical therapy for your best outcome.

Learn more: click to see our full brochure

David fell and broke his Right hip 9 months ago.

David is utilizing the buoyancy of the water to get an effective Hamstring stretch while weight bearing on the involved leg.

Marathon runner utilizing deep water running to prepare to safely return to running after a toe stress fracture.


PT who has had a stroke working on functional sit to stand training.


Brandon and René are making waves while strengthening their legs!


Share this page