Aquatic Physical Therapy, Water Therapy, Pool PT -- everyone has a different name for it, but we provide it at Joint Ventures Physical Therapy and Fitness right here in Boston, MA.
In my opinion it’s one of the most overlooked aspects of physical therapy, and I think it’s due to the difficulty getting access to an actual pool. For an outpatient physical therapy clinic, managing an aquatic setting is not the top priority when it comes to space, time, and financial investment, so most clinics use other locations. Some PT clinics will have a specialized water tank, perhaps with a treadmill built into it, and have the tank right in their clinic. Others, like Joint Ventures’ Physical Therapy clinic at 1079 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston (right on the Brookline/Allston line) is located within a health club (Commonwealth Sports Club) that has a pool right outside the clinic office.
The indoor pool is 60 feet long, has 5 lanes, and is operated with a salt water filtration system. The pool temperature is usually kept between 84 and 86 degrees, and is 3 feet deep in the shallow end and 5 feet deep in the deep end. With the use of aquatic tools, the patient can be suspended in the water, without touching the ground. There are stairs with a handrail to enter the pool and also the option of ladders to get in and out of the water. The club provides towels and a robe at the front desk, there are lockers available in the locker rooms with locks provided, and showers for washing up pre- and post-treatment in the water. The MBTA stop closest to the Joint Ventures' location at 1079 Commonwealth Avenue is Packard’s Corner, which is the B branch on the Green line. There is metered parking at Commonwealth Sports Club available on Commonwealth Avenue, Malvern Street, and Gardner Street.
Aquatic Physical Therapy at Joint Ventures is like all physical therapy at Joint Ventures, specifically designed to meet the goals of the patient and done in a 1-on-1 setting. We address impairments and functional limitations in order to return the patient to his/her previous level of activity. In the water, everyone from athletes to people returning from surgery, orthopedic injuries, chronic pain, back pain, arthritis, and neck pain, can be treated. The combination of joint unloading, hydrostatic pressure, and buoyancy provide a supportive environment to assist the patient or offer a different form of resistance. Patients with indications to be non-weight bearing can be in the water and not touch the bottom of the pool while being vertical for exercise. Gait training, balance training, and endurance training can take place while working in the water. Aquatic tools for additional flotation or resistance are used, depending on the rehab process required. Depending on the patient’s goals, a combination of aquatic physical therapy and land therapy may be used. At Joint Ventures Physical Therapy, you may be getting land therapy at our Government Center office and aquatic therapy at our Brookline office- having the benefit of two physical therapists looking out for your best interest! If you have any questions in regards to aquatic physical therapy, please don’t hesitate to ask- we’re here to help!
Jessica Simbro is the clinic director and one of the physical therapists at our Brookline/Allston location. Please contact her with any questions at:jessicaS@JointVenturesPT.com, or by dialing 617-536-1161 ext 220.