Aquatic Therapy

Within the St. Jude Centers for Rehabilitation and Wellness, three state-of-the-art therapy pools are used to support the successful rehabilitation and recovery of a wide range of patients, including those who may not be able or find it too painful to participate in standard therapy.

By reducing the effects of gravity, aquatic therapy allows improved comfort and ease of movement while also increasing strength, endurance, and mobility—creating greater therapeutic success for patients with painful joints and significant muscle weakness.

As the only hospital in Orange County to offer the advantages of aquatic therapy, our experienced physical therapists provide one-on-one and small group pool therapy to benefit those with:

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Post orthopedic surgeries, including spine
  • Athletic injuries
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease

For more information please call, (714) 578-8720. A physician referral is required.

How is pool therapy helpful?

The buoyancy of the water takes pressure off weight-bearing joints, decreasing joint compression.

Because the influence of gravity is reduced, patients who cannot move well out of the water—due to muscle weakness or pain—are able to successfully improve their strength and mobility.


The hydrostatic pressure of the water also provides light compression to reduce swelling and edema, while the water’s warmth decreases muscle-guarding and pain. By relaxing joints and muscles, pool therapy can be especially helpful for those with fibromyalgia, arthritic joints and back pain.

Who can benefit from aquatic therapy?

Aquatic therapy can often benefit those with certain orthopedic, neurologic and chronic pain conditions, and is typically used as an intermediate step until a patient is able to transition to traditional therapy.

A physician referral is needed as well as an evaluation by one of our experienced physical therapists to determine what therapeutic approaches would be most effective in accelerating recovery and rehabilitation.

Individuals who should not participate in pool therapy include those with chlorine allergies, open wounds or ostomy site, bowel or bladder incontinence, and unstable blood pressure.

About our pools and facility

Two warm water pools are kept at 91 degrees, while a third “cool water” pool remains at 80 degrees. In addition to stairs or ladders, a lift is available for use in all pools for entry and exit. Pool depth ranges from 3 ½ to 4 ½ feet.

Water shoes are required at all times in the pools and on the deck for patient safety and protection.

Individual dressing rooms, lockers with keys, and showers are available.

For swimmers recovering from an injury, a swim current is available to allow evaluation of swim mechanics and training.