Aquatic Physical Therapy for Knee Pain

Knee pain is one of the most common complaints we see as physical therapists. Physical therapy is often the best option for knee pain with diagnoses such as arthritis, post-surgery, muscle weakness, or gait or balance problems. However, land-based physical therapy is sometimes too much for someone due to their knee pain.

Aquatic physical therapy is a low-impact alternative to traditional physical therapy for your knee pain. There are many benefits that come with aquatic physical therapy in comparison to land-based physical therapy. 

  • Buoyancy of the water relieves pressure on the knee, allowing you to perform exercises you may not have been able to perform before
  • Warm temperature (98º) of the water allows for increased circulation and range of motion, as well as decreased sensitivity and pain
  • Resistance of the water allows you to build strength while performing exercises in the water
  • Water supports your bodyweight, thus reducing fall risk while exercising

While exercise in the water may seem different, the exercises performed are actually very similar to traditional physical therapy. You may perform exercises such as:

  • Stretching of the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and low back
  • Strengthening of the legs and core muscles, using resistance bands, ankle weights, or foam floats that work against the resistance of the water
  • Aerobic endurance by walking or jogging in the water
  • Balance exercises, such as standing on one leg

Aquatic exercise has a full body effect as well, providing benefits to the cardiovascular system due to increasing your heart rate with movement. 

Contact Total Performance Physical Therapy today to get started!


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