Aquatic therapy

Make progress toward less pain and better mobility with gentle, warm-water aquatic therapy at Montage Health.

What is aquatic therapy?

Aquatic therapy is water-based rehabilitation lead by a specially trained physical therapist. It uses water to provide buoyancy, gentle pressure, and resistance, letting you perform activities you may not be able to do on land. Aquatic therapy may happen instead of or along with land-based physical therapy.

Conditions aquatic therapy helps treat

Take advantage of warm-water physical therapy to make movement easier and gain strength and stability after surgery or a sports injury. Water therapy can reduce symptoms of:

  • Arthritis
  • Balance issues
  • Chronic pain, including back pain
  • Joint, muscle, or nerve swelling and weakness
  • Sore, tight muscles

How aquatic therapy can help

The comforting yet challenging environment of a warm pool makes water-based physical therapy inviting and effective. It can be especially good for you if you have weight-bearing restrictions or breathing problems that make regular physical therapy too difficult.

Aquatic therapy can help you improve or maintain:

  • Balance, coordination, and agility
  • Circulation (blood flow)
  • Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Posture
  • Relaxation
  • Strength
  • Walking ability

Is aquatic therapy right for me?

You’ll need a doctor's referral to work with our physical therapists in the pool and an evaluation to make sure it’s the right rehabilitation environment for you.

If your condition benefits from aquatic therapy, you’ll have a series of one-on-one appointments with a physical therapist for treatment. You’ll learn exercises you’ll be able to do on your own.

Therapy pool

Enjoy the comfort of a warm-water therapy pool — kept at a temperature of 89 to 92 degrees — at a Montage Wellness Center location in Marina or Salinas. You’ll appreciate how the environment is designed to help you relax and enjoy therapy and the healing process.

Do I need to be able to swim?

You don’t need to know how to swim to participate in water therapy. For your safety, a physical therapist will be with you throughout each session.

What to expect

Arrive on time to prevent cancellation of your appointment. If a loved one takes care of you at home, bring that person to each therapy session.

What to bring

Make sure you bring:

  • Bathing suit or close-fitting clothing (not cotton) suitable for water activity
  • Towel(s)
  • Water shoes
  • Bottle of water
  • Wheelchair seat cover (if needed)

Prepare for therapy

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment. When you arrive, check in at the Rehabilitation Services front desk, not at the wellness center’s front desk
  • Go to the Montage Wellness Center front desk and present your aquatic pass
  • In the changing room near the pool, shower and put on your pool attire
  • Wait until your scheduled appointment time to meet your therapist at the therapy pool. Do not get in the pool until your therapist is there
  • Your family caregiver, if you have one, should stay throughout your 30-minute session

After therapy

  • After your session, please leave the pool unless you’re a member of the Montage Wellness Center and want to use the lap pool or hot tub
  • You may use the showers and swimsuit dryers in the locker rooms

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

Call us at (831) 883-5640 to cancel your therapy session if you have a fever, open wound, or bowel or bladder incontinence within the last two weeks.

Talk to your doctor

Ask your doctor for a referral for rehabilitation services — physical, occupational, and speech therapy — at Montage Health. 

Schedule an appointment

After your doctor refers you to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula for outpatient rehabilitation, call (831) 883-5640 and choose option 1 to schedule an appointment.

Then, take one of these steps:

  • Print the patient intake form in English [PDF] or Spanish [PDF], fill it out, and bring it to your first visit
  • Arrive 30 minutes before your first appointment to complete the forms at your therapy location

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