Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy is beneficial for anyone trying to increase strength, decrease pain, and improve function. The treatment minimizes swelling, improves range of motion, gently builds strength and decreases the impact on joints.  Best of all, aquatic therapy is appropriate for any ability or phase of rehabilitation.

Through its partnership with GreatLife Malaska Fitness Club, Orthopedic Institute is able to offer aquatic therapy at GreatLife Woodlake Athletic Club, 4600 Tennis Lane in Sioux Falls. This program has the same high standards of treatment that you would expect from OI, the region’s leader in orthopedic care.

What is aquatic therapy?

Aquatic physical therapy is a method of rehabilitation performed in a warm pool environment. Orthopedic Institute provides one-on-one skilled therapy with a licensed physical therapist. Aquatic therapy can ease the transition to land-based activities for patients with a wide variety of orthopedic conditions.

What are the benefits of aquatic therapy?

  • Reduces pain
  • Minimizes swelling
  • Improves range of motion
  • Gently builds strength and muscle tone
  • Reduces fall risk
  • Improves circulation
  • Decreases impact on joints

What do I need to know before starting an aquatic therapy program?

There are several medical conditions that are considered contraindications for participating in an aquatic therapy program. If you have a history of ANY of the following, please discuss with your therapist.

  • Cardiac instability
  • Uncontrolled seizure disorder
  • Severe confusion, fear, anxiety
  • Fever, respiratory illness, infection
  • Diarrhea (in the last 14 days)

There are also some precautions to consider prior to your first aquatic session. Your therapist will explain our procedures on how to address these:

  • Weight-bearing restrictions
  • Open incisions or wounds
  • Problems transferring in and out of pool

What should I expect during a typical session?

  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to scheduled appointment time to allow for changing independently in locker room; therapist will  meet  you  pool side
  • Changing facilities and showers are provided
  • You do not need to be able to swim, but you must be comfortable standing in water
  • It is  important to drink  plenty of water before your aquatic therapy session to prevent dehydration
  • Pool depth: 3.5 to 6 ft.
  • Pool temperature: 86° F

What do I need to bring?

  • Modest bathing suit or gym shorts and T-shirt
  • Towel & change of clothes for after your session.
  • Water bottle to stay hydrated
  • Optional: water shoes


Aquatic therapy is only available at GreatLife Woodlake Athletic Club.  Please Call 605.977.6845 or 1.866.777.7678 to get more information or to schedule an appointment.