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Rehabilitation Medicine




Rehabilitation Medicine - Aquatic Therapy

Warm-water Therapeutic Pool at the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine at Sibley

Sibley Memorial Hospital offers aquatic physical therapy and aquatic exercise in a warm water pool.  Our pool is 20 by 40 feet with a maximum depth of four and a half feet.  A chair lift for easy entry is also located in the center.

The aquatic environment is helpful for the following:

  • Joint Pain
  • Cardiovascular Fitness
  • Balance and Agility
  • Neuromuscular Coordination
  • Muscle Strength and Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Postural Stabilization

Aquatic Physical Therapy

Aquatic based physical therapy is usually two to eight visits with the goal of progressing to land based rehabilitation.  The physical properties of water assist with exercises.  Buoyancy decreases weight bearing and the impact on joints.  Warm water assists with pain control and joint stiffness.  It assists with early weight bearing and balance training.  The water environment is excellent for training the core back muscles and improving gait, strength and endurance early in the rehab process.

Aquatic physical therapy requires a prescription from your doctor and an evaluation by one of our Physical Therapists to determine if water is an appropriate setting.  The evaluation is done out of the pool.  Appointments are scheduled with a Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant.

Bionics Class

Bionics pool class helps people before and after hip and knee joint replacement. Aquatic exercise in a warm water pool has been shown to improve outcomes in people coping with knee or hip  arthritis. Sibley Physical Therapists lead classes to help patients gain flexibility, strength and balance while minimizing  pain and reducing the  risk of a fall. 

Before your surgery: Our Bionics pool class uses gentle low-weight bearing exercises and stretches to prepare you for a good outcome—loosening stiff joints and strengthening weakened muscles.

After your surgery: Once cleared by your surgeon and after  your skin heals, Bionics pool classes, in conjuction with land based therapy,  help restore range of motion and improve strength and balance.  Those with more than one joint replacement are especially served well in the pool to improve their stability and decrease  their risk for falls.

Getting started: With a prescription from your doctor, we’ll schedule a Physical Therapy evaluation and your Physical Therapist will get you started in a class. Your insurance will be used for coverage. Our Bionics class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Schedule an evaluation and a spot in our Bionics class by calling 202-364-7665.


Aquatic Exercise 

We have independent walking sessions as well as low and high intensity water aerobics sessions.  A certified therapeutic aquatic coordinator designs our high and low intensity water aerobic sessions.  Water can make exercise easier and less painful because it removes excessive forces on joints.  The warmth of the water helps reduce pain by relaxing tight or spasm muscles and increasing blood flow. Prices vary per session and class type.  Please call for current pricing information.

Call 202-364-7665 for more information or to enroll in any of our warm water aquatic programs.

Aquatics Class Schedule

Program Type Days Times Cost (Per Session)
Independent Walking Sessions
(No Instructor)


8:00-8:45am; 9:00-9:45; 12:00-12:45; 1:00-1:45

8:00-8:45am; 1:00-1:45; 2:00-2:45; 5:30-6:15

9:00-12:45 Drop-ins and Make-ups


Rehab Class:
Bionics Joint Class
T/Th 12:00-12:30 By prescription only
Low Intensity Aerobics M/W 2:00-2:45 $70.00
Rehab Class T/Th 4:00-4:30pm By prescription only


  • Program/Classes may be cancelled if there are less than 6 participants
  • Classes end at the quarter hour; please exit the pool area promptly at the end of class
  • You must register for a specific class. Please call to check availability if interested
  • Class size is limited to 12 people
  • We strongly encourage the use of water shoes for your safety
  • Make up sessions are on Saturday only



Call 202-364-7665 for more information or to enroll in any of our warm water aquatic programs.

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