Aquatic Physical Therapy

At Potrero PT, we have seen many patients from a wide variety of age groups and injuries benefit from our aquatic therapy program. In a heated, indoor, saltwater pool near our Ocean Beach facility, our therapists teach you in a group setting a water program that is designed for your impairments. Water is the ideal environment in which to work on your range of motion, strength, balance and to decrease swelling and pain. Water's buoyancy assists us in controlling the stresses on your body. Below is a brief summary of some of the benefits of aquatic therapy.

1) Hydrostatic Pressure

Because water is denser than air, it exerts more pressure on your body, acting like a compression bandage and reducing peripheral swelling.

2) Decreasing Pain

Under a constant stimulus, such as pressure from water, the nervous system will automatically dull the body’s reticular system, the part of the brain responsible for regulating sensory neurons. This response can also help decrease muscle pain, making it easier for you to stretch your muscles and joints to their full range of motion.

3) Constant Resistance

One of the biggest aquatic therapy benefits is the constant resistance water offers. We can easily adapt the exercise to your strength and function level by changing the positioning of your movement or the speed at which you move through the water.

4) Rebuilding Muscle Memory

Water's natural viscosity and resistance force you to move slowly through a movement pattern, allowing the brain to process the signals from your muscles more thoroughly. If someone has a neuromuscular condition or other impairment, the use of water makes this muscle "reeducation" easier.

5) Improved Circulation

Water that is typically used for aquatic therapy is kept at warmer-than-average temperatures (approximately 92 degrees Fahrenheit) because warmth promotes circulation. This increased blood flow to the limbs helps promote healing.

Pool Facility