Aquatic Therapy Program

Resistance exercisesAquatic therapy has many advantages. It increases mobility, muscle strength, body awareness, relaxation and cardiovascular endurance, and improves coordination, balance and respiration. It also decreases the frequency of muscle spasms and pain.

Aquatic therapy is especially effective for patients after surgery or injury because it allows for earlier weight-bearing activities which lead to less pain and a faster recovery.

Several properties of water are integral to the effectiveness of aquatic therapy:

  • Buoyancy – A person submerged to the neck weighs 1/10th of their regular body weight, allowing for increased mobility and reducing joint stress
  • Hydrostatic pressure – This reduces the swelling of joints and tissues, and is particularly important for minimizing the pain of chronic joint or muscle conditions from recent injuries
  • Water surface tension – This creates resistance for limbs partially submerged, allowing the patient to gradually strengthen weak muscles
  • Resistance – Water increases resistance against movement by 600 - 700 times that of air, increasing the potential for muscle strengthening.

Experienced Staff

Aquatic therapists are Physical and Occupational Therapists with special post-degree training in the unique properties of aquatic therapy.

Individualized Treatment

We provide care for patients with the following conditions:

  • Sprains
  • Pre-operative
  • Strains
  • Post-operative pain
  • Contusions
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Tendonitis
  • Proprioceptive deficits
  • Bursitis
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Fractures
  • Low endurance
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological conditions

Comprehensive Care Provided

Aquatic therapists work 1-on-1 with clients to provide a rehabilitation program individualized for:

Balance problems

  • Multiple sclerosis – To aid patients in maintaining and possibly improving their strength and muscle control
  • Post brain attack (stroke) care – To help patients regain basic life skills and lost function
  • Prolonged immobilization – To assist patients in relearning balance and control after a prolonged period of inactivity or immobilization

Post surgical rehabilitation

  • Post hip fracture – Allows patients to work on building and strengthening techniques in a controlled weight environment
  • Post knee injury surgery – Reduces swelling and is ideal for working on range of motion exercises
  • Post shoulder surgery – Provides resistance for building strength and range of motion
  • Post spine surgery – Allows patients to build up to full weight-bearing exercises by providing an environment where they experience only 10% of their actual body weight


  • Exercise program – A controlled environment helps alleviate the constant, chronic pain associated with this condition and encourages activity to counter degeneration caused by inactivity

General deconditioning

  • Assists patients in regaining strength in an environment where body weight is minimized as gravity is countered by the person's buoyancy

Locations That Offer This Service

Milwaukee County

Aurora Rehabilitation Center
Aurora Sinai Medical Center
945 N. 12th St., 4th floor
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 219-5241

Aurora Sports Medicine Institute
Aurora Sinai Medical Center
945 N. 12th St., 1st floor
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 219-7776

Aurora Rehabilitation Center
2000 E. Layton Ave., Suite 160
St. Francis, WI 53235
(414) 747-8400

Outpatient Neuro Rehabilitation Program
Aurora West Allis Medical Center
8901 W. Lincoln Ave.
West Allis, WI 53227
(414) 328-6630

Ozaukee County

Aurora Sports Medicine Institute
1249 W. Liebau Rd.
Mequon, WI 53092
(262) 243-4161

Racine County

Aurora Wellness Center Burlington
300 McCanna Parkway
Burlington, WI 53105
(262) 767-7120

Racine Razor Sharp Fitness Center
7300 Washington Avenue
Racine, WI 53406
(262) 321-6000

Washington County

Aurora Rehabilitation Center
Aurora Health Center
1640 E. Sumner St.
Hartford, WI 53027
(262) 670-4300

Aurora Rehabilitation Center/Aurora Sports Medicine Institute
1100 Gateway Ct.
West Bend, WI 53095
(262) 306-6100

Waukesha County

Aurora Rehabilitation Center
St. Luke's New Berlin Health Care Center
14555 W. National Ave., Suite 195
New Berlin, WI 53151
(262) 827-2929

Aurora Rehabilitation Center/Aurora Sports Medicine Institute
Aurora Medical Center in Summit
36500 Aurora Dr.
Summit, WI 53066
(262) 434-2600

Winnebago County

Aurora Rehabilitation Center
Aurora Medical Center
855 N. Westhaven Drive
Oshkosh, WI 54904
(920) 456-7100