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Johnson Aquatic Center

Woman in water with therapist

Contact Us

To schedule sessions and for more information, call 605-322-5047.

The Johnson Aquatic Center offers a welcoming and quiet environment conducive for healing mind, body and spirit. Located on the Garden Level of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, patients work with physical and occupational therapists in three different warm water pools designed specifically for aquatic therapy intervention. All three pools have an option to enter them via steps or a pool lift.

Aquatic therapy can benefit those suffering from:

  • Arthritis – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative joint disease
  • Back and neck pain
  • Cancer-related fatigue
  • Chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Joint pain and replacements
  • Lymphedema
  • Neurological conditions
    • Stroke
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Post-polio
    • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sports injuries
  • Gait and balance disorders

What is Aquatic Therapy?

Physical and occupational therapists utilize the physical properties of water to meet therapy goals specific to each individual. The relative density of water, buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, turbulence, surface tension, viscosity and refraction all play an important role in the development of pool programs.

Aquatic therapy combines the physiologic effects brought about by warm water and exercise. The water’s relaxing qualities allow for movements that cannot be attained on land. Pain, limited motion, weakness, balance, coordination, perceptual-spatial body image, and circulatory and respiratory insufficiencies can all be addressed in a pool therapy program.

Pool Options

Therapy Pool

This pool is used for arthritis classes, as well as help with range of motion, relaxation and reduction of tone. Features include:

  • 96 degrees
  • 3’9” deep
  • Transfer ledge and steps which allow patients to enter pool
  • A bench that allows patients to sit and exercise

Walking Pool

This pool is used for arthritis classes, gait and balance training, and for those with neurological or cardiac conditions needing cooler water. Features include:

  • 92 degrees
  • 3’2” to 3’7” deep
  • Parallel bars

Exercise Pool

This pool allows lap swimming and has a cooler temperature for cardio and non-weight bearing workouts. Features include:

  • 88 degrees
  • 4’6” to 6’
  • Aquarius water workout station

The center also facilitates specialty therapy classes including the Parkinson’s Aquatic Program, Arthritis Foundation Arthritis Class and Adapted Aquatics, and education for acute and chronic pain.

*Avera McKennan Inpatient Rehabilitation is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for our inpatient rehab program. We’re also the only CARF-accredited program in the region for behavioral pain management, work specific rehab and level I brain injury program.

Download our rankings for rehabilitation inpatients served or rehabilitation inpatients discharged.


Avera McKennan Inpatient Rehab

  • Johnson Aquatic Center

Moving Health Forward

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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