Aquatic Therapy

Back to All
Physiotherapy pool

Available at St. Albert, Capilano Rehabilitation Centre, and Heritage Valley locations.

for a faster recovery, just add water

Leading Edge Physiotherapy is pleased to offer aquatic therapy (hydrotherapy) in St. Albert & 2 locations in Edmonton, Alberta. We offer the only in-house aquatic therapy program in Western Canada. Having invested in Swimex technology, we are able to bring the latest in rehabilitation technology, often reserved for elite athletes, to you. 

If you have sustained an acute or chronic injury, undergone surgery, sustained a non-operative injury, or are in pain and would benefit from a reduced weight bearing or more comfortable environment for your physiotherapy, then our Integrated Hydrotherapy treatment program may be indicated.

What are the advantages of aquatic therapy?

Aquatic therapy takes advantage of the physical properties of water, especially buoyancy. When submerged in water buoyancy supports a patient’s weight which facilitates exercise without the compressive loading forces present with routine land-based programs.

Benefits of aquatic therapy include a patient’s ability to reduce joint and soft-tissue swelling from the natural pressure of water. In addition, the viscosity of water and aquatic therapy allow a patient enough resistance to strengthen muscle. Aquatic rehabilitation reduces the amount of stress placed on joints so it is especially well suited for patients who are in pain and are weakened due to an injury or disability. The decreased joint stress enables patients to exercise more easily and with less pain.

Why Leading Edge?

It’s Leading Edge because despite the significant cost and infrastructure that goes into owning and operating a pool such as the Swimex, the evidence shows that it works. We go to great lengths to bring elite athletic type therapies to all of our patients and this is just another example.

Our therapists will treat you in a private environment and within a physical therapy setting. You will have access to our vast knowledge treating injuries while at the same time taking advantage of the unique reduced weight environment. We call it an integrated program because our professionals are a team of physiotherapists and kinesiologists and/or fitness professionals who utilize both a dry land approach and pool therapy to achieve optimum performance.

The research agrees:

Research has shown that when combining aquatic therapy with land-based therapy, the patient’s flexibility and self-reported functional outcomes were more improved when compared to traditional land-based treatment alone. (Gulick D. et. al., Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy, vol 15 #1, Spring 2007.)

Contact us today to begin your aquatic journey.

The heated pool’s controlled-speed water current allows patients to swim continuously in a Swimex GraphicCurrent Florw Diagram - Paddle Wheel‘static’ setting and to exercise in moving wall of water (when indicated). The pool is equipped with depth adjustments, workstations, controllable speed water current and observation windows. We are able to exercise our patients in a temperature controlled environment that allows for more flexibility and a reduction in pain associated limitations. We are able to assess their movement through portals and have them begin gait activities much sooner than would be achieved on dryland.

The resistance, hydrostaic pressure and propriception provided by the heated moving water stimulates muscle contraction patterns, making this form of aquatic therapy an excellent tool for treatment of low back pain, neck pain, as well as for the complete range of orthopaedic conditions including joint replacements and reconstructions.

As the water current can be progressed from gentle to vigorous, it is suitable for elite Web Poolathletes as well as the elderly and can be used from early post-operative treatment to the final stages of athletic conditioning as well as cross-training for injured athletes.Observation windows enable poor movement patterns and instabilities to be identified and corrected.

Multiple depths and work-stations offer diversity which other pools do not. The water flow extends smoothly and evenly across the exercise area and its laminar flow resistance extends for almost 1metre below the surface. Total body applications can be achieved and the current flow can be used to resist or assist movements, depending on the requirements.

Let’s make your decision even easier. Below are 5 compelling reasons to take the plunge:

  1. Water’s weightlessness equals less joint stress
  2. Less joint stress means less pain
  3. Less pain leads to more effective workouts
  4. More effective workouts build strength and endurance
  5. Strength and endurance equal well-being for a healthy life

Don’t be intimidated

To use our pool a person does not need to know how to swim. The aquatic exercises needed to help you recover, improve your fitness level or performance or make you feel better happen in water that is no higher than your chest.

Exercises in our Swimex pool can provide up to 15 times the resistance equivalent land based exercise can. This is bang for your buck.

Aquatic fitness and therapy gives people the confidence, strength, and support to perform proper mechanics that help them continue exercising and stay fit for life.

SwimEx aquatic therapy is beneficial in treating many conditions, including:

  • Orthopedic injuries (fractures, sprains and strains)
  • Surgical recoveries (acl repairs, mcl repairs, meniscus surgeries, rotator cuff repairs)
  • Total joint replacement (total knee replacements, total hip replacements, shoulder replacement surgery)
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Balance Disorders
  • Pediatric Injuries (Fractures, sprains, strains and issues that reduce weight bearing capacity)
  • Spinal Conditions (Herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, stenosis)
  • Chronic pain
  • Multi-traumaArthritis and Fibromyalgia
  • Neuromuscular Disorders

Many professional and college sports teams are utilizing Swimex Hydrotherapy to gain an edge on the rehabilitation process.

Look who else is using Swimex!

Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Ravens
Boston Celtics
Boston Children’s Hospital
Boston College
Boston Red Sox
Boston University
Buffalo Sabres
Carolina Panthers
Chicago White Sox
Detroit Pistons
Florida Marlins
New England Patriots
New York Yankees
Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia 76ers
San Fransisco Giants
University of Maine
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
U.S. Army

Buoyancy is an upward force exerted by a fluid that opposes the weight of an immersed object.

In a situation of fluid statics the Archimedes Principle applies as the net upward buoyancy force is equal to the magnitude of the weight of fluid displaced by the body. In other words, when a person is immersed in water, the individuals body weighs approximately the percentage of the depth that they are immersed. For example is a person is immersed to their waist then there is about 50% of the forces exerted on their lower body.

Buoyancy can provide support or resistance. As an assist, it acts to decrease the forces of gravity placed on weak limbs and reduce the stress on painful structures. There is less strain on the muscles and joints, requiring less effort to move under water. Buoyancy can add a challenge to stronger muscles and can offer resistance when a floating device like a flutter board is pushed or held submerged under water.


Fluid Resistance is the force that opposes the motion of an object through a fluid. Viscosity is the characteristic of the fluid that defines the amount of resistance that it will exert.

In aquatic therapy, the viscous nature of the water, while not significant compared to other fluids like molases, will nonetheless provide resistance. Basically a person has to push their way through the water and the water will slow them down.

Fluid resistance is beneficial in that it can support a person and hold them in position when still and will offer resistance when they are moving. This resistance makes water the perfect environment to perform balance exercises. Further, because the resistance is in all directions, fluid resistance increases the sensory awareness and strength of muscles equally in all of the muscles submersed in the water

This is the random motion of the molecules as they are exposed to disturbance. A person or their limbs will create changing pressures and turbulence as it moves through the water. Further, our paddle wheel design in the pool creates a further turbid environment in the water. This effect can provide a therapeutic benefit of massage, resistance and can stimulate the activation of core muscles in response to the fracas caused by the water.