According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States. Many patients experience great relief from this surgery, but sometimes the recovery is more difficult than patients initially expect. The physical therapy that accompanies the recovery is extremely important but can be tiring and frustrating. It is helpful for patients to understand that their full participation in and out of a physical therapy session is the key to success.
For one patient at Peak Performance Physical Therapy in Lynbrook, NY, his second knee replacement recovery progressed well thanks to that understanding and the additional use of aquatic therapy during his rehabilitation. Wayne Hayes had his second knee replaced but came to Peak Performance about 8 weeks post-op when he was still having trouble with stairs, range of motion and pain in the knee.
Peak Performance Physical Therapy sees a lot of success using their HydroWorx 500 Series pool with underwater treadmill for joint replacements. The advantages they see from using the underwater treadmill come from being able to do a wide variety of exercises including forward walking, backward walking, side step, and straight-leg “goose” walking. By doing all of these exercises, they are able to have patients use their entire leg and surrounding muscles to help strengthen the leg from all angles.
In this particular case, Wayne quickly saw a great benefit from aquatic therapy - he no longer had a limp, his pain was reduced and he was better able to navigate stairs better. His confidence improved in the water where he could get the feel for proper gait without the risk of falling. The warmth of the water was a welcome relief during the cold months but was also beneficial for healing and increased range of motion.
Watch the videos below to learn more about Wayne’s story and the protocols used for his rehab:
Therapy pools are commonly implemented into many types of facilities: senior living communities, physical therapy clinics, hospitals, sports medicine facilities and team athletic training facilities. The final product typically ends up being the crown jewel of the facility, but there are a lot of details required in order to get there. One of the key pieces to having a great pool room is ensuring the design is optimized for your patients and staff.
There are many ways that pool room and mechanical pit design can impact your project, not only in costs, but in user satisfaction for years to come. Below are a list of common Do’s and Don’ts when designing your space.
- Programming the Space – Make sure there is a defined path from the hydrotherapy pool to the changing area and rinse showers. Ensure there is adequate drainage for dripping water along this path.
- Perimeter Drainage – When designing drainage around a HydroWorx pool, consider how the pool will be used. The 2000 and 1200 Series pools have movable floors that come up to the deck height. Users can enter and exit these pools from any side, so a perimeter slot or trench drain is very good here. The 750 and 3500 Series pools have a fixed stair for entry. One area drain per side of these pools, with more along the main travel paths, is appropriate for these pools. Often users of Plunge pools (especially polar) will sit on the deck and soak their lower extremities. If they just got out of a treadmill pool, they will drip water wherever they sit. Therefore, we recommend trench or slot drains around plunge pools.
- Rinse Showers/Changing rooms – Often, when hydrotherapy is being added to an existing facility, changing and shower facilities may not be conveniently located. Adding a rinse shower to the pool room wall, with appropriate drainage, can lead to happier users, as well as better water quality in the pool. Likewise, a small unisex changing area adjacent to the pool room will provide a comfortable experience for your users so they don’t have to travel far in their swim clothing.
- Economize Mechanical Pit Space – It seems that mechanical spaces are often first to suffer when space and cost reductions are required. It is important to understand that whoever maintains the pool water will need access to the brominator almost daily, and the filter monthly. Understanding this access will help avoid mechanical spaces that are hard to navigate, or placing equipment that needs frequent service in hard to reach areas.
- Economize Pool Room Space – When multiple HydroWorx pools are installed in a hydrotherapy room, there are efficiencies in the pool room of which we can take advantage. For example, some clearance space can overlap when putting two plunge pools next to each other, allowing for installations in tighter spaces. Obviously, ADA requirements and building code requirements still need to be considered. Minimum deck size is often governed by local codes. Also, when specific clear space is required, it can often be utilized for extremity tanks, storage of underwater exercise equipment (buoyancy vests, underwater barbells, etc.), or any other item that can be moved in the event major service is needed.
- HVAC – It is critical to consider a pool-specific dehumidification unit for the pool room and mechanical pit. There is nothing worse than putting a nice hydrotherapy pool in a room with a great view, and having the windows covered in condensation. Also, dehumidifying the mechanical pit extends the life of the equipment and cuts down on service and maintenance costs.
Please remember to contact HydroWorx’s design specialists when beginning to design your hydrotherapy space. We can help with conceptualizing the space through 3D renderings. We also offerconstructability reviews and progress set reviews, as well as specification reviews and contractor pricing reviews.
Cross Country Education is proud to present the 9th Annual Rehab Summit this week in Orlando, FL, and HydroWorx is excited to be an exhibitor again this year in booth #104. Cross Country Education is “leading the way in continuing education and professional development” for healthcare professionals. For rehabilitation therapy, they have conducted over 12,000 one-day seminars with over 400,000 attendees! Rehab Summit is a three-day conference and expo that brings together highly qualified rehabilitation professionals from multiple disciplines, creating a great educational and networking experience for all in attendance.
Attending Rehab Summit offers the following benefits:
- The opportunity to learn from some of the nation’s top rehabilitation professionals.
- A chance to discover cutting edge products, services, and technology from exhibiting companies.
- The unique opportunity to network with professionals from various specialty areas within the field of rehabilitation therapy.
- New ideas and products for delivering results in your practice.
As a leading manufacturer of aquatic therapy pools with integrated underwater treadmills, HydroWorx has been helping clinicians enhance recovery and improve rehabilitation outcomes since 1998. Finding ways to set your clinic apart from local competitors is a key to your facility’s success and offering aquatic therapy could be a distinct advantage. Not only has it been proven to enhance rehab outcomes, it can also be a very profitable addition to your clinic’s toolkit. Stop by booth #104 to learn more about the impact that aquatic therapy can have on your facility.
We are excited to share more about our new product with those attending Rehab Summit. The HydroWorx 300 is the benchmark for construction-free unweighting devices. Utilizing warm water therapy as a medium to enhance rehabilitation and performance through water’s buoyancy, resistance and hydrostatic pressure, this advanced hydrotherapy system provides the ultimate rehabilitation advantage. Be sure to stop by booth #104 to learn more about the new HydroWorx 300 Series.
In addition to exhibiting at the expo, one of our very passionate and talented customers will be presenting an educational session. Join Jan Black, MS, PT, on Friday July 24th from 9:45am to 11:45am for the session, “Neurological Rehabilitation: Using Patient Needs to Guide the Journey.” Jan Black, MS, PT, co-founded Neuroworx, a non-profit outpatient physical therapy clinic specializing in neurological rehabilitation. She currently serves as clinic director, vice president, and member of the board. In her session, Jan will discuss a unique neurological outpatient therapy treatment model, specializing primarily in spinal cord injury, which improves neurological recovery and functional ability despite the limitations of current insurance paradigms.
Working with a patient recovering from a knee or hip replacement can present many challenges. Some of those challenges may include managing patient pain levels or creating a unique and interesting therapy program to keep your patients progressing and engaged.
Join us on July 23rd from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT for the free webinar, “Bilateral Total Hip Replacement: An Aquatic Therapy Case Review,” to gain insights into overcoming obstacles when creating and implementing an aquatic therapy program for a bilateral hip replacement patient. In this webinar, Mark Glod, PTA at Peak Performance Physical Therapy in Lynbrook, NY, will discuss the aquatic therapy program at Peak Performance, including the different conditions and injuries they commonly treat and the properties of water that make it effective for the populations they serve.
During this webinar, Mark will:
- Review the case history of the bilateral total hip replacement, including measurements taken during initial evaluation
- Share the timeline of the rehabilitation, including specific exercises and protocols used in the water
- Review the outcomes of the rehabilitation, including post-recovery achievements, improvements and personal goals met
Peak Performance Physical Therapy is a multi-disciplinary physical therapy organization operating four clinics in Nassau County, NY. With a multitude of specialists, they treat a wide range of conditions including orthopedic sports injuries, spinal injuries, vestibular and balance problems, as well as musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions. Their mission is to provide the highest level of care and to return their patients to their maximal capacity as quickly as possible.
At HydroWorx, we’re all about breaking through the myths that permeate the aquatic therapy industry. With our first Bubble Busters post, we blew away the idea that therapy pools are only useful for working patients’ lower extremities. Today, we’ll tackle three other common aquatics misconceptions with the help of Lance Walker, Global Director of Performance at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas.
Myth #1: Aquatics is limited to rehab.
As Walker has noted, any professional who is limiting aquatics to only rehabilitation needs to “wake up and smell the bacon,” because this limitation is definitely considered “old school.”
Today, trainers, athletes, coaches and exercisers are all using therapy pools as modalities to cross-train without putting major stressors on the body. For instance, throughout the United States, most professional athletic teams and colleges with high-profile sports teams have at least one HydroWorx pool at their disposal, and Walker says with confidence that they definitely use those pools for more than rehab.
Yes, they use their therapy pools for rehab if a player is on the injured list, but they also use the pool as a secondary training modality. Even Olympians are regularly getting in the water to increase their strength and endurance without hurting their bodies.
Myth #2: You can’t match land-running intensity in water.
Sure, the HydroWorx is a revolutionary therapy pool with an underwater treadmill – but can it really mimic the land-based intensities for athletes? Absolutely!
Walker commonly works with his athletes in the pool, focusing on plyometrics, dynamic mobility, reactive footwork and much more. As a tool, the therapy pool provides the efficiency and effectiveness Walker’s clients need to improve their performance (and potentially make more money in the case of pro athletes).
So how does this work from an evidence-based perspective? The key is to make use of all the pool functions. By turning on the high-powered resistance jets and/or increasing the speed on the underwater treadmill, it’s possible to foster an environment where high intensity is the name of the game. However, there’s no pounding of the joints, which makes an intense conditioning pool workout perfect for adding training hours without risking injury. Recent research from Utah State University further validates this truth. The researches conducted the study, “Metabolic Cost Comparison of Running on an Aquatic Treadmill with Water Jets and Land Treadmill with Incline,” to compare the metabolic costs at specific inclines while running on a land based treadmill to running speeds on an aquatic treadmill with the resistance jets. And the study concluded that running on an underwater treadmill against the resistance jets results in a greater change in metabolic cost than running on a land based treadmill.
Myth #3: It’s impossible to replicate a land running or walking gait in the water.
Ah, the old “gait replication” misconception! We hear it a lot, and so does Walker. In fact, it’s one of his “hot button issues.”
Science has now proven, thanks to stop-motion videos, that it is absolutely possible to replicate land movements in the water. The key is to equip the therapy pool with an underwater treadmill, whereby it’s easy to examine an athlete’s movements via an underwater camera.
By studying the hip, knee and leg angles appropriate for healthy land-based running or walking, not to mention foot strike tendencies, athletic trainers, physical therapists and strength coaches can help their clients mimic those movements in the pool. Not only will the movements then translate to land, but the stressors on other parts of the body will be lowered. Plus, there’s no awkward transition of different movements between the land and the water; the athlete is improving and perfecting his or her natural gait whether in the pool or on the track.
There you have it! More food for thought, and more myth bubbles popped thanks to practical experience mixed with scientific evidence.
To learn more about these misconceptions from Lance Walker himself, you can watch the On Demand webinar for Free today!