Recently, we caught up with physical therapist Kevin Norris, rehab manager of the Cox Monett Clinic in Monett, Missouri. The clinic serves as the rehab arm of CoxHealth’s network of hospitals, specialty medical centers and urgent care facilities.
As the rehab clinic quickly approaches its 2nd year anniversary with the HydroWorx 500 series pool, Kevin—who oversees all things PT, OT and S< at the clinic—gave us a quick rundown on the clinic’s achievements over the past 22 months.
“Overall, we have far exceeded our volume and revenue projections,” Kevin explained. “Many local physicians want aquatic therapy as part of the treatment plan for their patients. The physicians have a lot of trust in us. Every single day we have patients in the pool—sometimes it’s been booked to capacity. We do more volume than any other therapy provider in a two-county region.”
Kevin and his team of therapists have found the pool to be very useful with a wide scope of patient population—from spinal cord injuries to pediatrics.
“While working with the children, sometimes we’ll have an occupational therapist and a speech therapist along side each other in the pool, helping a child with developmental or social issues. Kids really open up in the aquatic environment. It’s been pretty amazing to witness.”
The center also incorporates a very effective weight-loss program. One patient had the goal of losing a significant amount of weight and running a 5K. He was not able to run on land for years, therefore he began a walking and jogging program on the underwater treadmill, visiting the clinic often. Because of his commitment to the program and the strength and balance he gained as a result of walking underwater, he is now able to run on land.
“This gentleman accomplished his goal of running the 5K,” stated Kevin. “He still visits the clinic about once a week for aquatic training. This was a great success story.”
But Norris wasn’t always waving the aquatic therapy banner.
“Initially, I had some reservations about acquiring the pool. But it didn’t take long to see the impact this modality was having on our business. The interest in the community had been pretty great. No question.”
Kevin finds that ongoing training and continued education are essential for the crew of therapists at the clinic.
“We put a lot of emphasis on becoming competent in the use of aquatic therapy. Our staff talks with their patients about the option of aquatic therapy and the possibility of incorporating it into their plan of care. Aquatic treatment is not for everyone, but we’ve seen it benefit a tremendous amount of our patient population. It’s just a matter of knowing how best to utilize the modality.”
In an effort to educate the community about the center’s aquatic offerings, Kevin reaches out to physicians by both speaking to groups and by providing brochures to medical offices around the community. But the most impactful marketing, he says, takes place when the patient uses the pool and feels its benefits.
“With up to 75 percent of their weight displaced, patients feel a sense of freedom in the pool. They use the massage hose to decrease muscular spasms and the 93 degree water soothes their aching joints. All of these benefits work together to heal and give our patients the confidence they need to recover. And they spread the word.”
Congratulations to Cox Monett rehab clinic for adding value and making a difference in their community!
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Happy Halloween from your friends at HydroWorx!
We recently celebrated Halloween at HydroWorx with a costume contest, lunch, way too much candy and even a live musician. What do you think of our costumes? In addition to sharing our celebration with you, we have some interesting facts about Halloween to:
- The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips.
- Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
- According to polls, 50% of kids prefer to receive chocolate candy for Halloween, compared with 24% who prefer non-chocolate candy and 10% who prefer gum.
- Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween. Other girls believed they would see their boyfriends’ faces if they looked into mirrors while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween.
- Harry Houdini died in 1926 on Halloween night as a result of appendicitis brought on by three stomach punches.
Athletes, weekend warriors and active adults may feel like a water workout is “too easy.” Often clinicians will question if their athletes or patients will be able to reach sufficient metabolic results on an underwater treadmill compared to a land-based treadmill that has the ability to incline, which raises the heart rate.
However, a new study from Utah State University, “Metabolic Cost Comparison of Running on an Aquatic Treadmill with Water Jets and Land Treadmill with Incline,” has shown that when athletes run on a HydroWorx underwater treadmill with high-powered resistance jets, the jets can be used to simulate and actually outperform land treadmill incline physical responses.
The study consisted of 18 participants who underwent trials on land-based and HydroWorx underwater treadmills. Participants’ metabolic cost (VO2 max) and heart rate increased in a predictable, linear fashion when the speed and incline increased on the land treadmill. However, when the same methods were applied to the aquatic treadmill by increasing the power of the resistance jets, individuals’ metabolic cost and heart rate jumped by unexpected, cubic amounts. When the resistance jets were at 100 percent capacity, participants showed physical effects that exceeded those that they displayed when running on a land treadmill at a 10 percent incline.
Utah State University’s Dr. Dennis Dolny, PhD and Department Head of HPER, one of the research study authors, states,
“A common concern practitioners may express regarding water versus land treadmills is that there isn’t an incline to simulate running uphill. With the resistance provided by the HydroWorx water jets, at any given speed, one can simulate the metabolic requirement of running up a one percent incline to in excess of a 10 percent incline. This added resistance would meet the training requirements of virtually all athletes seeking optimal training conditions, such as high intensity coupled with reduced joint stress.”
These results are very exciting as athletes and active adults are able to endure a more intense workout in the water, a safe environment, while decreasing their chances of re-injury and joint stress.
Download our Research Studies Book for a comprehensive overview of studies that have been done on underwater treadmills.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of Americans aged 65 and older fall each year with up to 30% experiencing fall-related injuries that negatively impact functioning and independence. Muscle weakness and gait impairments are the most common causes of falls in older adults. Falls are also the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
Join the ICAA along with HydroWorx on Wednesday, November 5 at 1:00pm EST for the webinar, “Reduce the Risk of Falls with Aquatics,” presented by Jackie Halbin, Living Well Manager at Lakeview Village in Lenexa, Kansas. Participants will learn how to enhance fall prevention programs by using the pool for strengthening and balance training. Adding aquatics options to land-based fall prevention, appeals to many different levels of clients. The aquatics environment can be manipulated to allow individuals to complete tasks at a comfortable level, progress “on the fly” and build self-confidence. Helping people develop lower body strength and agility while improving their balance and awareness of center of gravity enables them to stay independent longer.
Attendees will learn:
- Why water is the perfect environment for fall prevention training.
- How to encourage participants to improve by creating personal profiles that show their progress.
- How aquatic training improves scores on assessments conducted on land.
- Which techniques create a sense of camaraderie among participants to improve attendance and retention rate.
The 2014 World Cup was disappointing for the England Senior Men’s Team for many reasons. For England fans, hopes of a medal began to fade quickly after falling to Italy and then Uruguay. The results were more upsetting for some than others, but it may have been most disappointing for physiotherapist, Gary Lewin. Lewin had his trip to the World Cup cut short after experiencing a fracture and ankle dislocation on the side of the pitch in the match against Italy. Lewin had his ankle immediately relocated on site, was taken to the hospital and then flown home to England for subsequent treatment.
Thanks to Lewin’s job, he knew exactly where to start his physiotherapy once he was cleared to do so. He went straight to St. George’s Park, which is the National Football Centre for all of England’s national teams. It was here that Lewin began working on regaining function of the injured ankle. One of the modalities he used was the centre’s HydroWorx 2000 Series pool for progressively reeducating and loading the ankle as well as maintaining fitness while he was not yet fully weight-bearing.
The pool offered him features that were essential to his treatment such as:
- Moveable floor to adjust water depth for progression of load
- Underwater treadmill for gait reeducation
- Resistance jets for progression of intensity
He saw significant progress during his use of the pool and was able to return to his international duties less than 12 weeks post-injury.