What is Aquatic Therapy?

Aquatic Therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy conducted in temperature-controlled pools that we use for our adult and pediatric patients. Individualized treatment plans are designed to improve mobility, balance, strength, and endurance.

Aquatic therapy also provides significant sensory input, which can be beneficial for many children with sensory processing difficulties and assist with overall attention and regulation. Our patients can work on the same goals in the pool as they would in the clinic!

Grace Austin, DPT, having fun during aquatic therapy with a patient!

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy is designed to improve or maintain:

  • Body mechanics and postural stabilization
  • Flexibility
  • Muscle strength, power, and endurance
  • Function
  • Aerobic capacity/endurance conditioning
  • Balance, coordination and agility
  • Warm water helps muscle to relax and increase circulation
  • The reduction of gravitational forces in the pool allows the patient to stand and begin gait training and strengthening exercises
  • Improvement of patient morale and confidence can be established by providing a positive medium in which to function


Aquatic Rehabilitation may be prescribed specifically for:

  • Low back pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Joint paint from sports or daily repetitive activities
  • Neurological and orthopedic injuries
  • Post-surgical debilitation
  • Muscle weakness secondary to chronic or acute injury or illness

Our Aquatic Rehabilitation Program

Our aquatic therapy program consists of supervised exercises performed in the water. Patients can perform each exercise while standing in the water, holding onto the side of the pool or using a flotation device. The water provides a safe and effective method for restoring patient confidence and increasing mobility with each completed exercise.

Our Partnership with the Dubuque YMCA

Unified Therapy has a long-standing relationship with the Dubuque Community YMCA in achieving wellness for the community and for our patients. Our therapists utilize the indoor heated pools which are reserved during specific times for our pediatric patients only.

Written by Grace Austin, DPT, and Amy McClaskey, PTA, of Unified Therapy Services. Grace and Amy are both trained in Aquatic Therapy for both pediatric and adult patients. Please call us at 563-583-4003 for more information, or visit us at www.unifiedtherapy.com.


Grace Austin, DPT



Amy McClaskey, PTA