Benefits of Aquatic Therapy


Arlington Physical & Hand Therapy has offered aquatic physical therapy for several years. Over the last two years there have been some changes to the program to fully utilize the facility and background of the aquatics staff. Janice Stegmiller, PT, DPT, ATRIC is certified by the Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation Institute to instruct group and individual aquatic therapy sessions combined with  techniques such as BackHab, Ai Chi, and Fluid Moves. With over 18 years of competitive swimming experience as well as history of teaching and coaching swimming, the aquatics program in Arlington is a perfect match. Aquatics offers new environments for the patient and therapist to progress mobility and function.

Aquatic therapy is more than swimming. Utilizing buoyancy we are able to adjust weight bearing to address restrictions or difficulties with a land based program.  Dynamic activities that are difficult for an individual on land may be accomplished in the water with decreased stress or pain.

Lanita K., states; “Regular (land based) therapy has always hurt me, but in the water I feel great.” She also does not report pain later in the day like she feels after land based therapy.

Other benefits of aquatics are increased resistance from the water, increased co-contractions of muscle groups during exercise including core stability/control, and decreased edema/lympodema from the hydrostatic pressure of the water environment. Clients feel relaxed in the water and this helps with stretching and also facilitates enjoyment in the program.

Joey H., states; “I feel that I can get a workout in the pool, whereas on land I feel more restricted.” Aquatic therapy sessions can be done to facilitate return to work, sports performance, and return to daily activity.

The goals of an aquatic program are to advance the individual to the point of progression into a land based program or develop independence in the aquatic environment so that they may continue with this on their own.

Walter G. (who attends both aquatic and land based therapy) states; “I can feel the difference in my walking after the pool sessions,” and he demonstrates carry over from the pool to his land based sessions with increased activity tolerance and mobility.

Aquatic physical therapy has provided patient’s and staff of Arlington physical therapy with other options for functional progression that may not always be available on land.

“It is my hope to bring quality aquatic therapy to Arlington Physical & Hand Therapy to better focus on function and mobility goals,” Janice Stegmiller PT, DPT, ATRIC.


  • Chronic Pain (including arthritis)
  • Stroke or Brain Injury /Neurological
  • Hip, Foot, Ankle and Knee Pain
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Back Pain
  • Spinal Injuries
  • Joint Replacements

Aquatic physical therapy has provided patients with other options for functional progression that may not always be available on land based physical therapy programs.

If you are interested in learning more about Aquatic Therapy, contact us here.

Janice Stegmiller PT, DPT, ATRIC