The following post has been summarized from the recent article, “Healing Through Aquatic Therapy,” published on July 24, 2014 in Rehab Management.
We all know that water is relaxing and therapeutic, but why? What is it about water that creates such a soothing environment for therapy and recovery? To start, the buoyancy of water aids in a patient’s range of motion, while hydrostatic pressure reduces pain level and inflammation. Buoyancy is defined as the upward thrust acting in the opposite direction of gravity. The amount of pressure and weight-bearing on a patient’s joints is decreased instantly due to the buoyancy of the water. For example, if a female is submerged in water at the level of C7, the xiphoid process, or the ASIS, she will only bear 8%, 28% or 47% respectively of her body weight.
One patient at OrthoCarolina, utilized warm water therapy in a HydroWorx pool after her total knee replacement surgery. The patient noticed a significant difference in her gait when walking on the underwater treadmill compared to regular land-based walking.
“I didn’t want to walk correctly out of the pool, because when I did, it would hurt. When I got on the treadmill in the pool, my therapist set it for about 25 minutes and I was able to walk in there without pain. The water makes you feel lighter. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it’s definitely a unique feeling,” Joan says.
Hydrostatic pressure is another property of water that aids in decreasing inflammation. The reason for this is because the pressure from the water on a patient is the same amount in all directions. Therefore, the cardiovascular system is assisted with reducing effusion and edema in the extremities.
Those are just a few properties of water that make it a suitable environment for healing and rehabilitation. Read the full article today>>
Upcoming Free Webinar: How to Make Aquatic Therapy Profitable
On August 12, 2014 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT, Veronica Paquette, PT, Owner of Essex Aquatic & Rehab Center, will be presenting the free webinar, “How to Make Aquatic Therapy Profitable.”. This webinar will help you compare possible monthly expenses and potential generated income. With the ever changing reimbursement rates, there will be ideas to help generate additional revenue to your business outside of physical therapy income. It will also review maintenance requirements for a small therapy pool.
A research study from 2009 conducted at Texas A & M University, shows the effectiveness of underwater treadmill exercise for overweight adults. The study titled, “Comparative Efficacy of Water and Land Treadmill Training for Overweight or Obese Adults,” was conducted in order to explore the efficacy of underwater treadmill exercise training programs by comparing changes in physical fitness, body weight and body composition in physically inactive, overweight and obese men and women.
Fifty-seven overweight men and women took part in this study and maintained dietary logs throughout a twelve week test period. Throughout that time period, the participants were instructed to make no alterations to their diet or physical activity outside of the exercise training protocol. The participants exercised three times per week on an underwater treadmill in the HydroWorx pool.
The underwater treadmill exercise training programs performed by overweight and obese men and women proved to be an effective training modality by producing beneficial changes in body composition and improvements in physical fitness. More lean body mass was gained with the underwater treadmill training program compared to a land treadmill training program. Additionally, body mass index, percent body fat and waist-to-hip ratio were significantly reduced in participants, as well as pain and risk of injury.
This study shows that underwater treadmill training is a viable alternative to traditional land treadmill training especially for overweight adults. Exercising on an underwater treadmill in an aquatic environment produces reductions in body weight, improvement in body composition and aerobic capacity in a twelve week period without dietary intervention.
Not only does underwater treadmill training provide impressive benefits, but it is often a more enjoyable form of exercise due to the reduced body weight and greater range of motion afforded by the buoyancy and warmth of the water.
The thought of reading a research study can be daunting and unappealing. But don’t worry, we have compiled numerous research studies into one page summaries to make the information easier to digest. Additionally, we enjoy sharing research studies as it helps to validate the power and efficacy of water therapy and exercise.
Are you interested in learning about more proven benefits for underwater treadmill exercise? Download the Research Studies book today!
Do you currently offer aquatic therapy? Do you wonder what all of the hype is about?
While the effects of aquatic therapy (or hydrotherapy) are obvious to some, they are not as well known to others. Warm water therapy combined with state-of-the-art technology can create some impressive advantages for rehabilitation. Here are just 5 ways it can impact rehab. With aquatic therapy you can:
- Offer a solution for all levels of weight-bearing ability.
- Begin rehab sooner to reduce inflammation and accelerate rehab.
- Reduce pain significantly.
- Increase lean muscle mass and overall leg strength with underwater treadmill exercise.
- Rejuvenate and recover with greater impact.
Download the “5 Ways Aquatic Therapy Impacts Rehabilitation” Tip Sheet
Find out more about each of the ways that aquatic therapy can impact rehabilitation. Download this tip sheet today>>
The summer is a time for getting outdoors and being more active. Triathlons, marathons and road races have become very popular ways for staying active in the summer. Many people sign up throughout the year as something to look forward to when summer rolls around. However, with an increased amount of land training and running, injuries and joint pain is inevitable. It is important to look for different techniques to use throughout your training program to help with recovery and regeneration as well as augment some of the land miles.
Alberto Salazar, Coach of the Oregon Project’s elite runners, such as Galen Rupp and Mo Farah, relies on underwater treadmill running to give his elite runners a training edge. Salazar explains: “We don’t consider it an alternative to running outside. We consider it as important as running outside. It helps us become stronger by running against the resistance of the water and it helps us recover from our dry land training.”
Salazar and the runners at the Oregon Project rely on HydroWorx underwater treadmill running to:
- Supplement outside land training with 30-40 minute water runs 4-5 times/week
- If injured, safely continue training to prevent de-conditioning
- Increase weekly mileage for important competitions without increasing the risk of injury
- Create a constant state of active recovery using water’s unique healing properties during runs
Learn how everyone can benefit from the use of underwater treadmill running from the “6 Benefits of Underwater Running Infographic.”
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There is no “recipe” for treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Each case has it’s own history, specific diagnosis and limitations. Thankfully, we live in an era where technology is ever-evolving and creating opportunities for these patients beyond what they may have dreamed. Combining technological advancements with the extreme skill and care of clinicians, people are doing things that doctors had told them were impossible.
Using the right mix of technology and catering it specifically to each patient’s needs makes rehabilitation from a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury productive and impactful. There are so many land-based technologies that continue to improve and offer amazing results. Surprisingly to some, technological advancements in aquatic therapy also provide valuable tools for clinicians. Specialized aquatic therapy can offer the following advantages:
- The anti-gravity property (buoyancy) of the water makes movements easier than on land. Small neuromuscular responses can be more easily detected and recognized in this environment.
- Warm water helps to reduce spasticity which can increase a patient’s comfort and in turn, their ability to move.
- The fear of falling is reduced, especially for those that are apprehensive about trying new things on land. The water breaks falls and the result of a fall is often just a wet head.
- The volatile nature of water creates the perfect space for improving balance and core strength. Using resistance jets, water flow can be increased to continually challenge an individual’s balance and responses.
- Through the use of technology such as an underwater treadmill and video monitoring system, clinicians and patients are able to work on gait training. The ability to watch one’s gait and make adjustments in real time is essential to regaining the ability to walk.
To learn more about the use of aquatic therapy for neurological rehabilitation, please visit our website:
- Watch multiple case studies of spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury patients who have made exceptional strides with HydroWorx aquatic therapy.
- View videos from Neuroworx and Kennedy Krieger on their use of aquatic therapy.