Aquatic therapy, or pool exercise, can be a very useful tool to assist in rehabilitation. Once cleared by a physical therapist, an individual’s physical therapy can include getting in their own pool (or a friend or family member if they do not have one!) and recover while enjoying the sun. Especially when you live on Long Island, NY – why would you not want to perform your physical therapy exercises in the pool? Our physical therapy in Smithtown, NY can assist you achieve your goals by helping create a individualized aquatic home program.

Water can offer significant benefits to the body and allow for decreased swelling, improved gait/balance, increased strength and more due to its physical properties.

How does water act on the human body?

Full understanding of the physics behind water’s density, buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure are outside the scope of this blog. However, we will explain simply how these properties can benefit in the healing process. Water can help in the following ways:

  • Decrease swelling and pain –

The relationship between blood pressure and water pressure can help create a fluid shift that allows for swelling to be released from the area of injury. Decreased swelling can increase range of motion and decrease pain to allow for better healing and function.

  • Improve gait cycle –

The buoyancy of water allows the body to be offloaded when placed in water. Therefore, one is relatively lighter when submerged underwater. By reducing the effects of gravity, the individual can walk with less stress through the lower body. This allows for early gait training and motor planning following surgeries, which carries over into faster recovery and function.

  • Strengthening –

Hydrostatic pressure can create resistance in the water. In other words, when you move your arms in the water, you create a current. You can use this current to create resistance and implement strengthening into an aquatic program. With this property, as well as those mentioned prior, one can implement strengthening early into the phases of rehab to promote speedy recoveries following injury and/or surgery.


What exercises are appropriate for my physical therapy in Smithtown, NY?

The Physical Therapists at Block Sports Chiropractic & Physical Therapy have outlined safe and basic exercises to perform in a pool. Please make sure to ask or contact your primary care doctor, and/or your physical therapist prior to performing these exercises.

  • Lower Body Exercises:


Hip Abduction

Hip Extension


Walking Marches

Side stepping

  • Upper Body Exercises

Shoulder Abduction (lateral raise)

Shoulder Flexion (front raise)

Shoulder Circles


Physical Therapy in Smithtown, NY can certainly benefit from including pool exercises. Please make an appointment or contact the office to ask how a program may help you.