Aquatic Therapy

Low Impact Physical Therapy Program

The aquatic therapy program at Allied Services Integrated Health System provides comprehensive rehabilitative care to patients in a warm water pool. An experienced team of physical therapists and Physical Therapist Assistant use the water and individually design activities to enhance, restore, and/or increase a person’s functional abilities.

Aquatic therapy is an ideal method to relieve pain and improve function. Water provides a fun, comfortable environment to re-initiate limb and body movement. Conditions treated in the pool can be acute, transient, or chronic. The Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation Institute defines it as:

The use of water and specifically designed activity by qualified personnel to aid in the restoration, extension, maintenance and quality of function for a person with acute, transient, or chronic disabilities, syndromes or diseases.

Conditions Treated

Most people with disabilities can participate in Aquatic Therapy and swimming experience is not necessary. Patients with arthritis, back problems, knee and ankle injuries, strokes, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and neurological disorders are just a few of the types of people who can benefit.

Some common diagnoses that utilize aquatic therapy include:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Post joint replacement or orthopedic surgeries
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain conditions that have limited function
  • Any orthopedic condition with pain or limited function
  • Stroke
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Head Injury
  • Pediatrics​

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy


The buoyancy of water supports up to 90% of body weight, reducing the force of stress placed on the joints, and making it easier and less painful to perform exercises.


The viscosity of water provides an excellent source of resistance in all directions, which allows for muscle strengthening without weights.

Hydrostatic Pressure

The water surrounding the body decreases joint and soft tissue swelling, blood pressure and spasticity, and improves joint awareness.


The warmth of the water relaxes muscles and vasodilates vessels, increasing blood flow to injured areas and allowing for an increased range of motion.

Community Aquatics

For community members who do not require physical therapy but would like to participate in aquatic exercise programs, Wilkes Barre Rehab Center provides several community aquatic programs.

Aquatic exercise and aerobics program

  • Designed for individuals with an interest in improving/maintaining general conditioning in an aquatic environment with aerobic activities being the primary component
  • Individuals with varying levels of ability and condition can participate, as exercises can be modified to meet needs
  • Classes conducted in 4 to 6 feet of water

Arthritis Foundation aquatic exercise program

  • Designed for persons with arthritis who could benefit from exercising in a warm water atmosphere
  • Program available for individuals who do not need the one-to-one intervention of a physical or occupational therapist
  • Primary focus of the program is on improving joint flexibility, increasing muscle strength, and decreasing pain
  • Classes conducted in 4 to 6 feet of water

Aquatic assisted fitness program

  • Designed for patients transitioning out of aquatic therapy that require assistance with transfers, entering/exiting pool, dressing, or carryover of some aspect of exercise program

Open aquatics sessions for children with autism

  • Designed for children with autism who can benefit from recreating in an aquatic environment
  • This is an open session in which participants, with support and assistance from parents/guardians/designees, will self-direct their time and activities in a supervised environment
  • Rafts, noodles, float rings, float belts, a basketball hoop, balls, and other toys will be available

Referrals & Insurance

Patients need a prescription from their doctor in order to enroll in the Aquatic Therapy program at Allied Services. Insurance coverage for this program is provided by most health insurance policies.

To schedule an appointment contact Allied Services in Wilkes-Barre at 570-826-3900 or Allied Services in Scranton at 570-348-1360. Contact us to learn more or start your referral process today.

Locations Specializing in Aquatic Therapy