Aquatic Therapy Program

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Aquatic Therapy Program


Aquatic therapy - therapeutic exercise in water - provides a soothing, efficient method of exercise for achieving movement. The water, which is maintained at a temperature between 88 and 90 degrees in Gaylord's therapeutic pool, provides a cushioning effect that protects the body from any pounding, jarring movements. The ability to swim is not necessary to participate in aquatic therapy. A doctor's prescription is required for aquatic therapy.

Article about the benefits of Gaylord's pool and Aquatic Therapy Program 

Aquatic Therapy Benefits

There are many benefits to aquatic therapy including increased ability to walk and stand in the water, as well as, greater flexibility, balance and strength building. Working with our aquatic therapists our patients receive the instruction and therapy needed to make important physical and emotional gains. Whether you are dealing with post-surgical recovery, spinal stenosis, arthritis, inflammation, muscle weakness, spasticity, amputation, or a neurological issue such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome, aquatic therapy can be of great benefit. 


Aquatic Therapy Center 

Our on-campus aquatic center has a large pool that is maintained at a constant 90-degrees. For easy entry the pool has specialized lifts, stairs with double handrails, and a two-foot-high ledge that allows individuals in wheelchairs to easily transfer into the water. There is bench in the water and a handhold cut out in the wall to making it easier to do exercises. Relaxing warm water jets are in the pool's walls and a water station is available for working on upper body and trunk strength. Our aquatic center has one of the largest and most handicap accessible pools in the state.

Diagnoses treated include:

  • Stroke
  • Amputations
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Post-Polio Syndrome
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Guillain-Barre
  • Chronic Pain Syndrome
  • Brain Injury
  • Rheumatic Disorders
  • Cardiac Disorders
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Fractures
  • Knee and Hip Replacements
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Orthopedic Injuries
  • Sports-related Injuries

The Healing Properties of Water

The physical properties of water diminish the effects of gravity, allowing for:

  • Earlier movement of the limbs and functional mobility training
  • Reduction of pain
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved cardiovascular endurance
  • Pressure relief and improved circulation
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Increased strength
  • Immersed in chest-high water, people bear only 20 percent of their body weight on their legs. The remaining 80 percent is supported by the buoyant environment of the water. Warmer temperatures relax muscles, making for a better workout.

    Exercise in the water also provides more of a workout than exercise on land. One hour of land aerobic exercise is equal to 30 minutes of water aerobic exercise.

    Aquatic therapy offers people various levels of water exercise and adapted swimming, as recommended by their physicians. In Gaylord's program, each patient receives individualized therapy that may include:

    • Strengthening and flexibility exercises
    • Endurance training
    • Gait training
    • Relaxation
    • Modified swimming instruction
    • Pain reduction
    • Balance and coordination activities

    About the Therapeutic Pool


    Gaylord's 75-by-25 foot therapeutic pool on the hospital's Wallingford campus is specially designed for people with disabilities.

    Features include:

    • A 2-foot wide ledge for easy wheelchair access
    • Hydraulic lift
    • Stairs with rails
    • Bench in the water for those who need to sit while exercising
    • Accessible locker rooms and showers
    • Aquacize

    Aquacize is a community pool exercise program for people of all ages with disabilities and for older adults. Members may use the pool Monday-Saturday during posted hours at the Wallingford campus.

    Convenient Hours

    Aquatic therapy is available at two Gaylord locations:

    • Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford.  For Aquatic Therapy at Gaylord Hospital contact Outpatient Appointments: (203) 284-2888
      • Aquacize classes are held at the Wallingford campus only and pool hours are available Monday-Saturday. For a current schedule of classes call: (203) 741-3440.


    Outpatient Appointments: (203) 284-2888

    Outpatient Fax: (203) 294-8705