With March Madness approaching and teams gearing up to fight till the end, keep your players healthy and fresh with aquatic therapy!
For sports, aquatic rehabilitation can be used in many different ways. At the University of Virginia, it is often used as a “transition phase” for their athletes.
For the UVA women’s basketball team, Paul Murata, Assistant Athletic Trainer talks about how they typically get their athletes into their HydroWorx pool before they are ready to jump back on the court. He has them work on sport and basketball-specific movements to get them fully ready to return to play.
Typically Paul rehabs lower extremity injuries such as of strains, fractures and breaks. The HydroWorx pool is their first step to a quick recovery. By assessing the type of injury and knowing the athlete, Murata determines when the athlete will begin aquatic therapy. Even though they may not begin to use the treadmill, they will begin to do movements in the water using flotation devices.
Once the athlete is ready to begin using the underwater treadmill, Murata examines the athlete’s gait and biomechanics. When he feels that the athlete is performing the movements correctly, he will begin pushing her in the pool to perform movements she couldn’t on land.
Once the athletic training staff feels the athlete is ready to begin strength and conditioning training, they work with Ed Nordenschild who is the Director of Strength and Conditioning. Typically a workout consists of focusing on basketball related movements and protocol to get the athlete ready for the court.
“You can actually see the athlete going through the natural gait without injuring them. The HydroWorx pool allows us to watch the biomechanics and catch something that we may have not seen before”
-Paul Murata, Assistant Athletic Trainer at University of Virginia
The 4 Phases of Aquatic Rehabilitation used at the University of Virginia are:
Phase 1: Observing Gait and Biomechanics
This phase allows for the athletic training staff to examine the movements of the athlete and make sure all biomechanics are correct. This step prevents the athlete from developing bad habits throughout the rehab. They usually begin walking on the treadmill while slowly increasing the speed to a jogging pace.
Phase 2: Basketball-specific Protocols
During this phase the athlete focuses on basketball movements and jumps that would normally be used on land, such as side shuffling, pivots, and planting the foot while opening and driving the hips. They also use the jets to perform resistive exercises like high knees to strengthen the athlete’s muscles.
Phase 3: Strength and Conditioning Intervals
The last phase of rehabilitation is making sure the athlete is able to perform to the best of their ability in the HydroWorx pool before they step on the court. The athlete performs sprints in the water by increasing the resistance of the jets. By doing so, the athlete is able to work on speed, endurance and power, so the transition to land is as seamless as possible.
Phase 4: Post-Workout Deep Tissue Massage
To end a workout the athlete often does a few minutes of deep tissue massage to relax the muscles and break up any unnecessary tissue damage in the body.
The staff at the University of Virginia finds the use of the HydroWorx pool invaluable to their program. It allows them to safely focus on natural gait without risking injury.
Join us for a free webcast!
Tony Testa, Director of Sports Medicine at Seton Hall University, will be presenting on “Progression of Running Drills Using the Underwater Treadmill.” During this webcast participants will learn the varied drills and progressions used at Seton Hall University for training speed and agility while running underwater. The presentation will progress from a general warm up in the ThermalPlunge pool to acceleration and change of direction drills in the 500 series therapy pool and then finish with a post training cool down in the PolarPlunge pool. It will also review how to vary speed and endurance days and progression through the cycle.
A new textbook was recently published, titled “The Use of Aquatics in Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Rehabilitation and Physical Conditioning,” written by leaders in the sport & exercise and orthopedic industries. Dr. Kevin E. Wilk, PT, DPT, FAPTA and Dr. David M. Joyner, MD, FACS, along with noted domestic and international leaders in the field, explore the aquatic techniques and principles detailed in the work, while presenting this scientifically-based material in an understandable and user-friendly format. This textbook includes information on the use and application of aquatic methodologies in both rehabilitation and physical conditioning appropriate for everyone from the general population to the elite athlete. We anticipate that this book will help advance the use and adoption of aquatic therapy globally.
To offer an insider’s perspective on the new, groundbreaking aquatic textbook, written by leaders in the sport & exercise and orthopedic industries; we are continuing to interview some of the chapter authors to learn what makes this textbook a must read for any rehabilitation clinician. For our fourth interview, we interviewed Dr. Dennis Dolny, PhD and Department Head of HPER at Utah State University. Dr. Dolny is a co-author of Chapter 10 titled, “Research Evidence for the Benefit of Aquatic Exercise.”
Here is what he has to say!
Why did you feel it was important to be a part of this new textbook on aquatics?
So many physical therapists leave professional school training with little or no aquatic therapy preparation. This manual will provide the basis for instilling confidence in therapists to elicit mentoring in order to incorporate aquatic therapy into their practice.
How long have you been doing aquatic-based research and what was the most shocking or surprising evidence you have found?
Our initial aquatic research projects began in 2005 focusing on using a water treadmill to enhance sport performance. Despite the success with this population, we have discovered the benefits of water treadmill activities hold even greater promise for those who are “orthopedically or neurollogically-restricted” or need a safe environment to permit folks to challenge themselves with confidence.
What was the first aquatics research study you performed and why was it initiated?
While I was at the University of Idaho one of our track coaches questioned if the water treadmill was an excuse for track athletes to avoid completing a normal, “intense” workout scheduled for land. Our initial results demonstrated the water treadmill can elicit a maximal effort workout as intense as on land, plus delivers this intensity with much less joint stress and “heavy legs” typically reported by competitive runners following land workouts.
What are 2-3 consistent health-related and therapeutic benefits you have seen in your studies from individuals using an underwater treadmill for exercise?
Consistent results have been a greater enjoyment, a greater reduction in self-reported pain, improved measures of balance and postural stability while subjects report a greater feeling of confidence when performing land activities following exercise in a water treadmill.
Based on your research, why should Osteoarthritic patients utilize aquatic therapy and exercise?
It appears from the evidence that aquatic therapy & exercise improves patient- reported pain and adherence compared to land-based activities, while occurring in an environment where patients feel more confident in challenging themselves to elicit benefits in balance and functional capacity. This improved experience will not only enhance the management of OA but provide a greater potential to positively impact co-morbities typically present in this population such as obesity and hypertension.
What effect do you hope this textbook might have on the field of orthopedics & sports medicine rehabilitation?
My impression is aquatic rehabilitation is sometimes recommended as a “last resort” when traditional land-based therapy has not been proven to be effective. Hopefully this textbook will begin to present aquatic rehabilitation as a “ first choice” for facilitating onset of truly effective rehabilitation sessions when traditional land-based activities would restrict what a therapist and patient normally accomplish.
Excerpt from Chapter 10
“Non-swimming aquatic exercise has increased in popularity in recent years. In addition to swimming, aquatic exercise forms include water aerobics, deep water running (DWR), shallow water running (SWR), and cycle ergometry. Recently, a relatively new type of aquatic exercise equipment, an aquatic treadmill (ATM), has been developed that joins a variable-speed underwater treadmill with pump-driven directional water jets to provide frontal resistance to ambulation through the water. The system emulates the exercise intensity control enabled by land treadmill (LTM) velocity and grade adjustments, permitting the user to engage in familiar walking and running activities and vary the intensity by increasing the treadmill velocity and changing the resistive force of the water jets. It is our purpose in this chapter to provide the reader with research related to the effectiveness of aquatic exercise for physical training and health benefits, with a particular focus on the recent finding using the ATM.” Excerpt from Chapter 10, Page 115
Upcoming Free Webinar. Register Today!
On March 18th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT, Ted Yanchuleff, PT, ATC, Manager of Outpatient Rehab Services for the Pinnacle Health System, will be presenting the free online webinar, “The Changing Healthcare Environment: Is There a Role for Aquatic Therapy?” This webinar attempts to address some of the implications on an aquatic therapy program associated with the integration of the Affordable Care Act into the United States Healthcare delivery system. The webinar will also explore what role aquatic therapy can play in this environment and will discuss potential benefits that aquatic therapy may offer ACOs.
Have you ever wondered if your rehabilitation path determines the results you have? Countless patients have found that utilizing aquatic therapy during rehabilitation positively impacts their outcomes.
Joan Burlingham, a patient at OrthoCarolina, understands this well after she had her right knee replaced back in October. She quickly found out that her therapy wouldn’t be an easy journey. When a small problem arose after surgery, the recovery process became worse. Fortunately, Scott Canup, physical therapist at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, NC, caught the problem and addressed it right away.
As for anyone recovering from an injury, it’s easy to pick up bad habits. Joan had begun walking differently on land to favor her right knee, which created an incorrect gait pattern. After noticing this, Scott immediately suggested that she try aquatic therapy in their HydroWorx pool.
HydroWorx pools have become a staple in the recovery of not only professional athletes but for patients at physical therapy centers and rehabilitation centers throughout the country. Joan noticed a difference almost immediately.
Because the buoyancy of the water allowed Joan to only support 20% of her body weight, she was able to participate in aquatic therapy with no pain. A drastic difference from her land based therapy. Rehabilitation in the pool is not always a walk in the park, however. The water-resistance therapy jets and varying speeds of the integrated underwater treadmill in the HydroWorx InstaFit pool allowed for Scott to construct a program that best suited Joan’s needs, safely progressing the difficulty of her exercises when appropriate.
“You just hold on and it’s great I didn’t feel any pain. It was a totally different feeling then walking on land or on a regular treadmill.”
-Joan Burlingham said of her HydroWorx experience
Next week, HydroWorx is traveling to the LeadingAge Oklahoma 19th Annual Conference in Midwest City, Oklahoma.
This year’s LeadingAge theme is, [re]defining age.There’s no one size fits all approach to aging. Just ask the wave of baby boomers who are [re]defining every aspect of the process. This Conference will explore how individuals in concert with shifting priorities and preferences are [re]defining age around the myriad of issues that define what it means to age well.
America’s growing aging population challenges us to [re]examine and [re]think what aging means. In this fast-paced information age, we have access to new and exciting tools to help [re]educate ourselves about enduring values and cutting-edge practices. The sum of this is a chance to [re]envision ourselves and our missions in light of the current unique opportunities and challenges.
HydroWorx will be exhibiting on both March 11th and 12th in booth #54. Stop by our booth to find out about the many benefits that an aquatic therapy pool can bring to your senior living community. HydroWorx therapy pools help improve balance to reduce resident falls within your community. Warm water therapy pools also allow active residents the opportunity to exercise with less pain. Exercise in a therapy pool also improves strength and endurance, allowing both active and sedentary residents to increase their stamina to remain independent longer. By offering HydroWorx technology within your facility’s therapy and wellness programs, you are helping your residents become more active, healthy and independent; thus increasing their lengths of stay within assisted and independent types of living.
Stop by our booth to find out more and enter a drawing for a chance to win a gift card!
We are looking forward to meeting you there.
Upcoming Free Webinar. Register Today!
On March 18th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT, Ted Yanchuleff, PT, ATC, Manager of Outpatient Rehab Services for the Pinnacle Health System, will be presenting the free online webinar, “The Changing Healthcare Environment: Is There a Role for Aquatic Therapy?” This webinar attempts to address some of the implications on an aquatic therapy program associated with the integration of the Affordable Care Act into the United States Healthcare delivery system. The webinar will highlight concepts of an integrated care delivery network and will conclude with discussion of the development of Accountable Care Organizations in this changing environment. The webinar will explore what role aquatic therapy can play in this environment and will discuss potential benefits that aquatic therapy may offer Accountable Care Organizations.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel to one’s brain is blocked or broken, thus damaging brain cells. With the loss of these brain cells, a person also loses skills controlled by that portion of the brain. Exactly what skills or how many a patient may lose depends on the severity of the brain damage as well as the portion of the brain that suffers the damage.
Possible skill loss may include speech, vision, movement (in some cases near total paralysis), and memory. After a stroke, the functions lost must be completely relearned, including re-developing muscle memory, strengthening muscles, relearning speech patterns and developing new memories.
In recovering from loss of movement due to strokes, aquatic therapy is a great medium to learn these valuable life skills. It’s goal is to help re-teach functions affected by the stroke, while strengthening and building off of the skills and functions that still remain.
About a year ago, Lois Jordan suffered a stroke that left her almost completely paralyzed. Before she started aquatic therapy, she was told she would never walk again and her hopes of improving her mobility were all but dashed. Today, after only 5 months of aquatic therapy with Barb Cacia, Wellness Director at Pieters Family Life Center, in their HydroWorx pool, Lois has made vast improvements. She can now walk on her own in the water and has advanced to the point of being able to use a walker when on land. She is able to get herself out of bed in the morning and transition from sitting to standing and walking with little to no help.
Although recovering from a stroke is a lifelong process, aquatic therapy has helped restore not only Lois’s mobility and growing independence, but her hope and confidence in a future yet to come.
Watch as Lois shares her story, and Barb walks through her pool exercises.