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Aquatic Therapy

Water has been and remains one of the best environments to regain function regardless of the injury and Tri-County Health Care's physical and occupational therapy staff is proud to provide the only Warm Water Aquatic Therapy program within a 50 mile radius.

What is Aquatic Therapy?

Aquatic therapy is a specialized form of physical and occupational therapy. It not only improves motion and flexibility, but also the warmth of 92°F water provides therapeutic effects to allow a patient's muscles to relax while helping to reduce pain. Through an arrangement with the Maslowski Wellness & Research Center, Tri-County Health Care offers access to one of the area's premier therapy pools. Paired with our highly skilled and trained staff, patients can expect one of the most comprehensive therapy programs in central Minnesota.

Program Specifics

With aquatic therapy, swimming is not a prerequisite and all activity consists of exercises performed in the water with therapist supervision or assistance. Patients can perform exercises while utilizing an automated lift chair to lower them in and out of the water. Depending on individual capabilities, patients may also stand or sit on the built-in bench in the water, hold onto the side of the pool or use a flotation device. The water provides a safe and effective method for healing injuries, restoring patient confidence and increasing mobility with each completed exercise.

We also offer an aquatic exercise class for expectant mothers who are looking for a way to maintain good overall health during and following pregnancy. This class works to address a full-body fitness education including low-impact aerobic exercise with stretching, strengthening and range of motion activities for the entire body. To learn more or to register for this class, click here.

Insurance Coverage

Consistent with physical therapy, aquatic therapy services are generally covered by most insurance plans; however, our staff is happy to discuss any insurance questions you may have. No matter your concern or age, aquatic therapy is an excellent option.

To inquire if aquatic therapy may be right for you, call 218-631-7475 in Wadena or 218-548-5580 in Henning, or check with your provider.


Tri-County Health Care - Wadena Rehabilitation Clinic

Tri-County Health Care - Henning Physical Therapy Clinic

Other patient services include:


Water's natural buoyancy reduces gravitational pull and lessens compressive forces, making exercises much easier to perform than on land. Best of all, aquatic therapy can be used even if a patient does not know how to swim.

The benefits are many, but here a few:

  • Stimulates body awareness, balance and stability
  • Improves range of motion
  • Increases muscular strength and core stabilization
  • Contributes to overall relaxation
  • Improves joint flexibility
  • Reduces pain and comprehensive forces on the spine and joints
  • Athletic enhancement
  • Improves patient morale and confidence by providing a positive medium in which to function

Individuals with any of the following can benefit from Aquatic Therapy:

  • Pain: a combination of buoyancy and thermal effects of water can help reduce symptoms of pain. Pool based therapy is proven to be beneficial for chronic and acute pain patients.
  • Weight-bearing restrictions: properties of water help to reduce weight into the lower extremities and through the spine.
  • Unsafe on Land: aquatics-based services provide a higher level of safety for unbalanced patients to allow for a more beneficial treatment in the safe environment of water.
  • Comorbidity limitations: land-based treatment may be difficult for patients with comorbidities of obesity, arthritis, or cardiac complications. Water-based rehab may be beneficial for these patients.
  • Requires sensory Modulation: The pool is a sensory-rich environment to help promote sensory integration for your adult or pediatric patients.
  • Edema: water immersion can reduce lower extremity effusion and edema. Benefits with acute LE swelling for faster healing and improved range of motion with reduced pain.

Care Provided

Aquatic therapy is a wonderful option for individuals of all ages who may be experiencing the following:

  • Neck & Back Pain
  • Sports Injuries
  • Knee, Hip & Ankle Conditions
  • Shoulder Concerns
  • Difficulty with Balance or Walking
  • Cervical Pain
  • Expectant/postpartum mothers
  • Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Chronic pain
  • Post Surgery Orthopedic Conditions
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Children with Disabilities


Providing the very best in evidence based treatment, our experienced staff will be with you in every stage of your journey.

Jeremy Meyer, PT, DPT
Jeremy Meyer, PT, DPT, Senior Physical Therapist

Stacey Sellner, PT, DPT
Stacey Callahan, PT, DPT

Trenda Hoemberg, DPT
Trenda Hoemberg, DPT

KendraPeetersProfessional.jpgKendra Peeters, DPT

Aquatics Courses

Aquatics Moms Course

GOAL: To help expectant or new mothers maintain good overall health during and following pregnancy, to reduce pain associated with later stages of pregnancy and to improve general stabilization. This one-hour session will address full-body fitness education including low-impact aerobic exercise, stretching, strengthening, and range-of-motion activities.

BENEFITS: Water is a phenomenal environment in which to achieve strength, motion and reduced pain. The buoyancy of water supports your body’s weight and reduces the pressure on joints and the spine.

Other benefits:

  • Reduces pain in back, legs and between shoulders
  • Reduces swelling and pressure in lower extremities
  • Improves muscle tone and control in comfortable exercise positions
  • Improves activity and free motion during later stages of pregnancy
  • Produces relaxation and reduces tension

Conditions or situations where aquatic therapy would not be used:

  • Ruptured membranes
  • Significant heart disease
  • Significant lung disease
  • Persistent bleeding in second or third trimester
  • Placenta previa after 26 weeks gestation
  • Premature labor
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Viral infection, communicable diseases

Moms Courses are held quarterly on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center. Register online here. For more information, contact 218-631-7475. (Limit 10 people)

Aquatics Arthritis

GOAL: Aquatics Arthritis is designed to soothe arthritis pain in those 50 or older using aquatic therapy in a private, warm water pool. In a small group setting, expert therapists will show you gentle aerobic exercises and stretches to help you manage your arthritis pain.

BENEFITS: The unique properties of water cannot be duplicated on land, and when harnessed by a skilled therapist, they can treat patients of all ability levels and ages.

  • Decrease in weight-bearing through joints
  • Decrease in joint stress
  • Decrease in splinting or guarding of antigravity muscles
  • An increase in freedom of movement
Hydrostatic pressure

  • Reduction in edema in the lower extremities (by providing graduated pressure at greater depths)
  • An offsetting of blood pooling in lower extremities (and thus a reduction in the risk for postoperative clotting)
  • A desensitization effect (by constantly stimulating phasic receptors)

Surface tension

  • Increased tactile experience
  • Provides resistance when trying to break the surface plane

  • Can change resistance and task demands by changing length of lever arm
  • The drag causes 90 percent of resistance to movement whereas the water in front is only 10 percent of resistance
  • Allows us to challenge patients at appropriate level and then advance the difficulty as able making transition to land based activities through streamlining, slipstream, drafting, momentum and rebound
Warm water
  • Immersion in thermoneutral water will produce a generalized relaxation effect similar to that experienced with swaddling or bundling of a body part


  • Can help with proprioception for those individuals who need to look at their feet when they walk


  • Provides resistance depending upon speed at which task is getting completed giving us more options with strengthening
Aquatics Arthritis is right for you if:
  • You are older than 50
  • You have arthritis pain
  • You are searching for an effective way to manage your pain

For more information, call 218-631-7475.