Aquatic Physical Therapy

For clients with weight-bearing limitations or with sensitive joints, Aquatic Physical Therapy often provides a successful course of treatment. Performed in a warm pool at the Central Community Branch YMCA in Worcester, it incorporates all the principles of physical therapy, but allows clients to move joints and lift weights more easily and with greater comfort.

Aquatic Physical Therapy uses the inherent therapeutic principles of water to relieve stiff joints and increase blood flow to the sight of injury. The natural buoyancy of water supports your body weight and decreases joint stress during an exercise program. Our skilled therapists are right with you. This treatment is especially ideal for people with medical conditions that affect joints and muscles, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

What Conditions are Appropriate for Aquatic Physical Therapy?

Aquatic Physical Therapy is ideal to treat:

  • Arthritis
  • Acute injury Fibromyalgia
  • Pre/postpartum patients with LBP
  • Chronic pain
  • Injuries requiring partial weight bearing
  • Orthopedic injuries/surgeries 
  • Pre/Post Joint Replacement
  • Athletes

How Does Aquatic Physical Therapy Compare to Traditional Physical Therapy?

Some patients benefit more from Aquatic Physical Therapy than from traditional physical therapy. Greendale Physical Therapy, LLC offers three methods for treating patients in our Aquatic Program :

All Aquatic Therapy

Therapy is conducted only in the aquatics setting. This can be beneficial for patients with weight bearing issues and chronic pain.


A blend of traditional physical therapy and aquatic physical therapy this can be beneficial for patients with musculoskeletal conditions. The combination method can also work well for athletes.

Aquatic Therapy with Progression

We begin entirely with Aquatic Physical Therapy, then progress to traditional physical therapy. This method can work well for patients with acute injuries, or for those with conditions that improve with Aquatic Physical Therapy and can later “graduate” to traditional therapy.

What About the Pool Itself?

The pool is located at the Central Community Branch YMCA located at 766 Main Street in Worcester. Stairs help you safely enter the pool, there is also a lift available. Lifeguards are present, and life safety equipment is located poolside. There are locker rooms for men, women, and families. Showers are also available.

Prior to beginning therapy in the pool, patients will have a formal physical therapy evaluation and pool orientation at our Worcester, Shrewsbury, Clinton or Marlborough clinic. Contact our Worcester location at 508–459-5000, or by email, and we will be happy to set you up with an appointment.

The aquatic therapy has brought me a great deal more flexibility without a lot of pain while performing the exercises. The resistance gives you a comfortable control and reduced joint stress allowing maximization of therapy to be concentrated to the damaged area. I would also highly recommend this to someone older or not in the best of shape for the same reasons. I would not consider a therapy clinic that did not include aquatics in their regiment.

Clinton Patient

Request an Appointment



Shrewsbury Clinic

280 Boston Turnpike
Shrewsbury, MA 01545

T: 508-753-7780
F: 508-459-5900

Worcester Clinic

120 Gold Star Boulevard
Worcester, MA 01545

T: 508-459-5000
F: 508-459-5900

Clinton Clinic

145 Church Street
Clinton, MA 01510

T: 978-598-3155
F: 508-459-5900

Marlborough Clinic

435 Lakeside Avenue
Marlborough, MA 01752

T: 508-488-4110

Fitchburg Clinic

28 Ashby State Road,
Fitchburg, MA 01420

T: 978-400-3690


766 Main Street Worcester,
MA 01610

T: 508-459-5000
F: 508-459-5900

Physical Therapist Assistants

Kim Barrow

MS, BS, PTA, Aquatics Director

Southern Connecticut State University, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Exercise Science
MassBay Community College, Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

Areas of Clinical Interest
lower back pain and disk conditions, aquatics, chronic pain, post surgical rehab, balance issues

Certifications + Trainings
Certified ACE Personal Trainer, Craniosacral Level I, Graston Technique Levels I & II.

Trained in Burdenko Method, Aquatic Therapy Rehab Institute (ATRI), Kinesiotaping, Biosynchronistics, Maitland Technique, Mulligan Concept, Functional Movement Assessment (FMA), Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), Muscle Energy Techniques of the Spine and Extremities

Ross Beaudette

BA, PTA, CSCS, Worcester Clinic Manager, Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE)

Worcester State University, Bachelor of Education
New England Institute of Technology,  Associates Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant 

Areas of Clinical Interest
sports rehab, injury prevention, ergonomics, post-surgical, footwear assessment and prescription

Certifications + Trainings
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Matheson Functional Capacity Evaluation certification, Matheson work hardening certification, ACE personal trainer, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), Active Release Technique (ART), Mulligan technique, McKenzie Technique, myofascial release, Muscle Energy Techniques of the Spine and Extremities

Nicolette Bender


University of Massachusetts, Bachelor of Exercise Science
Becker College, Associates Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant 

Areas of Clinical Interest
Rehab Pilates, pre and post natal, postural re-patterning, injury prevention, stability training

Certifications + Trainings
STOTT PILATES, NSCA-CPT, TRX, Biosynchronistics, Core Integration, Craniosacral therapy (CST Level 1 & cervical spine), Total Barre, CORE Athletic Conditioning, Diaphragm Release Techniques, Myofascial Release Therapy, Mulligan Techniques for the Extremities, Muscle Energy Techniques for the Spine and Extremities. ISP (injury and special population) focus that includes pre and post natal, scoliosis programming, & breast cancer rehabilitation. 

Alexandra "Allie" Hagan


Salem State University, Bachelor of Athletic Training
Bay State College, Associates Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant 



John Hannon


New England Institute of Technology, Associates Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant 

Areas of Clinical Interest
Back pain, footwear/gait assessment, balance/fall prevention, total joint replacement, workplace ergonomics/postural re-ed, injury prevention, aquatics

Certifications + Trainings
Summit certification in evidence-based assessment and treatment for TMJ, Blood Flow Restriction Training, cervical spine dysfunction, and headaches/post concussion


Katharine Osborne


Mount Wachusett Community College, Associates Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant

Areas of Clinical Interest
Manual therapy, myofascial release, lower back pain, shoulder and knee injuries, neck pain, kinesiology, trigger point therapy, patient education

Certifications + Trainings
Graston Technique M1-Basic Training