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Sibley Memorial Hospital

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Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy Pool

Sibley Memorial Hospital offers aquatic physical therapy and aquatic exercise in a warm water pool. Our pool is 20 feet by 40 feet with a maximum depth of 4½ 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 warm water assist with exercises. Buoyancy decreases weight bearing and lessens impact on joints, while warm water assists with pain control and joint stiffness. Aquatic exercises assist 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 rehabilitation 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's 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

After your skin heals and you are cleared by your surgeon, bionics pool classes in conjunction with land-based therapy can help to restore your range of motion and improve strength and balance. Those with more than one joint replacement may benefit from using the pool to improve their stability and decrease their risk of 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 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Independent Walking Classes

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-prone muscles and increasing blood flow. Prices vary per session and class type. Please call 202-364-7665 for current pricing information, for more information or to enroll.

Aquatics Class Schedule

Program TypeDaysTimesCost Per Session

Independent Walking Sessions

  • No instructor
  • Advanced registration required





8 to 8:45 a.m. 
1 to 1:45 p.m.
2 to 2:45 p.m. 
5:30 to 6:15 p.m.

8 to 8:45 a.m. 
9 to 9:45 a.m.
12 to 12:45 p.m. 
1 to 1:45 p.m.
2 to 2:45 p.m. 
5:30 to 6:15 p.m.
$240 for a 12 week session 

Transition Classes 

  • No instructor
  • One time 12 week session
  • Intended  for use after completing aquatic therapy
  • Advanced registration required 



12 to 12:45 p.m.
3 to 3:45 p.m.
$240 for a 12 week session 

Saturday Drop-In 

  • Monitored open pool time 
  • Pool time limited to 45 minutes each person
  • 15 people max in pool at one time
  • NO advanced registration required 
Saturday9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.$10 check must be given at time of pool use
Rehabilitation Bionics Class Tues/Thurs4 to 4:30 p.m.By prescription only 


  • Program/classes may be cancelled if there are fewer than six participants.
  • 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 15 people.
  • We strongly encourage the use of water shoes for your safety.
  • Sibley Aquatics follows the Washington, D.C. Public School closing decisions in the case of inclement weather.


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