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ACL Protocol for First Hydrotherapy Session Post-Op

2014 October 17

ACLVideoThe experts at Michael Johnson Performance (MJP) rely on aquatic therapy for almost all of their clients who are undergoing rehabilitation. Director of Rehab, Lorenzo Vite, feels that practically any injury is a candidate for aquatic therapy during their rehab. At MJP, they not only use hydrotherapy for the rehabilitation it offers, but also as a bridge to moving to land-based activities. Lorenzo notes that athletes are less hesitant to do activities for the first time on land if they have already been doing them in the pool. The pool work gives them confidence to rely on their injured body part to do what it is supposed to do.

In this case study from MJP, Lorenzo introduces a 15-year old football player to the HydroWorx 500 Series pool for the first time. The football player is 5 weeks post-op on a recurrent ACL injury. This initial session gets the athlete acclimated to the features of the pool as Lorenzo focuses on his gait pattern to correct any errors. Using the underwater cameras, the athlete was able to immediately identify and make slight changes in his gait to ensure proper healing and muscle usage.

He began with some initial stretching of the knee in the warm water and then moved right into treadmill work. Lorenzo was sure to keep the pace at a walk, despite the athlete’s willingness to do more based on his lack of pain in the water. On the treadmill, with an intense focus on gait, the athlete walked forward, backward and did a side shuffle, maintaining consistent and accurate heel-toe strike. He also had the athlete work on lateral and front step-ups.

Based on the doctor’s progression timetable and the athlete’s comfortability, the physical therapist will appropriately increase resistance level using resistance jets, speed of the treadmill and types of activities in the water until the athlete is able to move to land based activities.

Watch the case history of the patient and his first session in the HydroWorx pool in the videos below:




To learn more about ACL rehabilitation using aquatic therapy, download our “ACL Recovery” tip sheet here>>


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Meet Osteoarthritis Researchers at an Exclusive Event During LeadingAge!

2014 October 16

While you are in Nashville, TN for the Annual LeadingAge Meeting and Trade Show next week, you can meet the lead researchers of a ground-breaking study out of Utah State University at an exclusive after-hours event. IMG_0119

Dr. Dennis Dolny, PhD and Department Head of the HPER at Utah State University and Dr. Eadric Bressel, EdD and Lab Director of the Biomechanics Laboratory at Utah State University, will be presenting their latest research, High-Intensity Interval Training on an Aquatic Treadmill in Adults With Osteoarthritis: Effect on Pain, Balance, Function and Mobility, in the HydroWorx Booth #1436 on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.

Their presentation, “High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for the Active Aging Adult,” will include a discussion on how HIIT can be modified to suit a variety of conditions from the aching elderly to the active senior population.  

The research study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, was created to quantify the efficacy of a 6-week aquatic treadmill exercise program, specifically for individuals with osteoarthritis, on measures of pain, balance, function and mobility. The study consisted of eighteen participants, average age of 65 years old, with knee osteoarthritis. The participants completed a 6-week exercise period in a HydroWorx pool. The exercise protocol included balance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on an aquatic treadmill using the resistance jets to both destabilize the participant while standing and to achieve high levels of exertion while walking. As a result of this study, participants displayed reduced joint pain, improved balance, improved function and increased mobility after participating in the aquatic exercise program. Additionally, after the completion of the six weeks, participants’ walking speed was nearly identical to that of people without arthritis.

Join HydroWorx, Dr. Bressel and Dr. Dolny on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 5:00-6:00pm in the HydroWorx booth #1436 at LeadingAge to see this program in action. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how the HIIT program can be transferred to a water-based program for residents who cannot support their total body weight or have chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.  A demonstration of the HIIT program will be presented in the pool along with a summary of land-based improvements in functional capacity and postural stability indices. Attendees will also be given information during the program on fall reduction and wellness programs, case studies, design assistance and ROI.

Drinks and appetizers will be provided. Space is limited and will be based on a first come, first served basis. Please RVSP to Michele Reber. Guests of this event will re-enter the exhibit hall through the main entrance, Door A.  
We are looking forward to meeting you there!

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Right Staff and Right Technology Provide Healing

2014 October 15

4689-015The following blog post has been summarized from the recent article,  Making It Work, Technology in Practice, published in Impact Magazine and written by Jan Black, PT, MS and Dale Hull, MD, MPA. Jan Black and Dr. Dale Hull co-founded Neuroworx in June 2004 and now serve as the clinic director and executive director.

Neuroworx is a unique facility in Utah with a mission to promote the rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries and other neurological conditions and to create and support the finest comprehensive outpatient neurological rehabilitation facility. Dr. Dale Hull suffered a tragic spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis from the neck down. This incident caused him to devote three-and-a-half years toward his recovery with Jan Black, his physical therapist. During this time, the two developed the plan to open a facility that serves the needs of spinal cord injury patients. In 2004, they co-founded the non-profit practice, Neuroworx.

As a relatively small, non-profit, niche facility, one must wonder how they are able to offer this level of neurological rehabilitation and care. Both Jan Black and Dr. Hull say it is the effective combination of having passionate people and having the ‘right stuff.’

Having the right people in place can make a huge difference in the outcome of a patient’s rehabilitation. At Neuroworx, they strive to find ‘craftsmen’, those who are capable of being evidence-based as well as innovative. Since no two injuries are the same, clinicians are encouraged to create and construct unique programs, including any specific technology necessary, for each individual patient in order to generate the best outcome for them.

A world-class clinician combined with the proper tools and equipment is a powerful combination for rehabilitation success. At Neuroworx, they rely on many different tools and equipment, but four of their most used and effective forms of technology include:

  • Aquatic Therapy Pool with an Underwater Treadmill. The HydroWorx therapy pool provides substantial therapy potential with an adjustable underwater treadmill, front and side camera-monitor system and adjustable resistance jets. All patients are able to benefit from the properties of warm water including buoyancy and resistance.
  • Body Weight Support System. They have implemented a locomotor training system with computer-assisted feedback that can control vertical displacement and center of mass. This helps patients to achieve proper stepping and stride kinematics.
  • Robotic Locomotion Therapy. At Neuroworx, they utilize a system that allows one physical therapist to administer intense functional locomotion therapy. The integrated visual feedback system with the locomotion therapy enhances patient motivation as well.
  • Function Electrical Stimulation. They have a variety of electrical stimulants to create patterned movements in the legs, arms and trunk.

Read the full article today>>


Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of aquatic therapy for your patient? Download the “5 Ways Aquatic Therapy Impacts Rehabilitation” Tip Sheet today>>

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Redefine Age with HydroWorx at LeadingAge

2014 October 13

Redefine What is Possible with Water Therapy & Wellness.

If you are attending the LeadingAge annual meeting and trade show at the end of the month, we want to invite you to join us in ‘Redefining Age’ in the HydroWorx booth. The theme for LeadingAge this year has been ‘Redefining Age’ and with water therapy and wellness, you can do just that._DSC7459

LeadingAge is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to making America a better place to grow oldThe mission of LeadingAge is to expand the world of possibilities for aging. Their membership includes 6,000 not-for-profit organizations representing the entire field of aging services, 39 state partners, and hundreds of businesses, consumer groups, foundations and research partners. Their members touch 4 million lives every day.

Be sure to visit HydroWorx during the LeadingAge trade show in Booth #1436 to learn how water therapy and wellness can impact your senior living community with positive results.

HydroWorx will be ‘Redefining Age’ in booth #1436 with the following activities:

  • Could you, let alone your residents, run a marathon? Even if you can’t run 26.2 or even 1 mile on land, nearly anyone can do it on a HydroWorx underwater treadmill! We’d like you to try for yourself in our Underwater Marathon event. For every mile you run or walk on the underwater treadmill, a donation of $50 will be made in your name to the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research. Learn more and register for a time slot that’s convenient for you.
  • Have You Ever Considered High Intensity Interval Training for Your Residents? Research Shows it Worx!  Join us for an exclusive after exhibit hours event including drinks, appetizers and ​a discussion on “High Intensity Interval Training for Patients with Osteoarthritis,” with Dr. Dennis Dolny, PhD and Dr. Eadric Bressel, EdD. This event takes place on Tuesday, October 21 from 5:00-6:00pm in the HydroWorx booth (#1436). Space is limited! Learn more and RSVP today by emailing Michele at
  • Take our Survey and Win. We’re asking all professional attendees to fill out our market survey to be entered to win a $50 American Express card. Five drawings will take place over the three conference days! T-shirts are also available (while supplies last).

To participate in our above activities or to enter to win $50 while you are attending LeadingAge, click here>>

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Research Proves Underwater Running Reduces Muscle Soreness

2014 October 10

Recovery is essential for all active individuals regardless of their level of activity. However, for competitive athletes specifically, recovery and reduced muscle soreness can be the difference in a win or a loss. For high-performing individuals, having an effective method for decreasing muscle soreness, decreasing time in between hard training sessions and decreasing recovery time frames is essential. KB4_3300web

The Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A & M University recently published the research study, Aquatic Treadmill Running Reduces Muscle Soreness Following Intense Sprint Exercise in Trained Men. The study, published in the International Journal of Exercise Science, was created to determine if short duration aquatic treadmill running reduces muscle soreness following intense sprint exercise in male athletes.

The study consisted of twenty trained men randomly divided in two groups; an aquatic underwater treadmill recovery group and a passive recovery group. After a 10 minute dynamic warm-up, the 20 participants performed sixteen 110 yard cutback runs with a sprint of 60 yards, change of direction and then a return sprint of 50 yards. After completing the 16 sprints, the aquatic treadmill recovery group performed underwater treadmill running on the HydroWorx underwater treadmill at 5mph for 10 minutes. The passive recovery group did not perform any type of recovery activity.

Following the recovery time period, each individual ranked their perceived soreness levels on a scale of 1-10. In each area evaluated, the individuals who performed the aquatic treadmill recovery following the sprint workout experienced significantly less pain and soreness. The athletes ranked their level of soreness in their legs, back, hips and abdomen. The overall soreness scores following sprint exercise were lower by a total of 1.9.

The conclusion from the study suggests that aquatic treadmill running significantly reduces perceived muscle soreness and may enhance recovery following intense sprint exercise in trained men.

The exciting news is that not only does underwater treadmill running reduce muscle soreness post-workout, it has been shown to make a difference in an individual’s performance.


Download our Research Studies Book for a comprehensive overview of studies that have been done on underwater treadmills.


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