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Oregon Duck Tight End is Redefining What is Possible

2015 March 2

The following blog post has been summarized from the recent NBC Sport article, “Duck TE Pharaoh Brown nearly had lower leg amputated,” published on February 25, 2015.

Many articles have recently been written about the inspiring comeback story of Oregon Duck, TE Pharaoh Brown. Brown’s injury occurred this past November in a game against Utah, which the Ducks won by 24 points. The severity of the injury combined with his progress has garnered national attention.WEB20130208_SM_TrainingFacility_004

The athlete suffered a major leg injury, which kept him hospitalized in Utah for a week. This injury did not occur in, what some might call, a typical way. An earlier NBC sport article summarized the injury in this way, “Brown fired out up field when his left foot landed on the right foot of tight end Evan Baylis (teammate), lined up inside to Brown’s left. Brown stumbled a bit after stepping on Baylis’ foot and then extended his right leg to regain his balance. But he planted the right foot awkwardly, resulting in his weight moving forward and over the leg, causing it to buckle at the knee.”

The TE underwent three surgeries on his leg and nearly faced amputation. Shockingly, Brown never sustained any broken bones, rather, “what left him in the ICU of the University of Utah Hospital, was a stretched artery in his leg that caused internal bleeding and cut off blood flow below his right shin.”

Brown’s injury consisted of a pair of torn ligaments as well arterial damage. 

Following the injury, Brown told The Oregonian [newspaper]  that, “He expected to join his teammates back in Eugene, OR the following day, believing the diagnosis was limited to ligament damage. In the early morning hours, a doctor burst into his hospital room — Brown remembers his message being so urgent that the doctor didn’t even introduce himself — to brief the tight end on the artery’s precarious condition. If not corrected soon, amputation was likely, he said he was told. Brown called an Oregon medical staffer to share the news and the recommendation came quickly: Get surgery.

“That just shocked me,” Brown said. “Once he said I wasn’t going to be able to walk or run again I was like, all right.”

Believe it or not, Brown’s recovery has been going really well. Despite the scope of the injury, Brown has been actively recovering on stationary bikes and jogging on the underwater treadmill. There is no definitive time frame for his return to the field, but Brown is doing everything he can to get back to 100% in order to join his teammates back on the turf. 

We wish the Oregon Tight End the best of luck in his recovery. His story is truly inspiring. From one day being told he could face amputation and not be able to walk again to riding a bike and jogging in the pool on an underwater treadmill just a few short months later, is nothing short of extraordinary.

Read the full story today>>

 

Free Webinar: Strategies for Treating Low Back Injuries with Aquatic Therapy

Join us on March 19, 2015 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT as Murphy Grant, MS, LAT, PES Assistant Athletic Director – Sports Medicine and Head Football Athletic Trainer at The University of Kansas, presents the webinar, “Strategies for Treating Low Back Injuries with Aquatic Therapy.” This webinar will provide treatment ideas for using the benefits of hydrotherapy for low back injuries such as Lumbar Sprain, Muscular Strains, Contusions, Sciatica, Herniated Disks, Spondylosis and Spondylolisthesis. The webinar will also offer strategies to develop rehabilitation programs and progressions using aquatic therapy as a medium.

Register Today>>

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Spring Training: ATs Discuss the Role of Hydrotherapy

2015 February 27

Here in South-central Pennsylvania, snow covers the corn fields and roof-tops. Temperatures continue to dip below freezing.  Spring has not yet sprung.

Yet, a few thousand miles south of here, the smell of freshly cut grass wafts through the air. Infields are raked and chalked to perfection and athletes prepare to don their spikes. Scores of little towns dotting central Florida and Arizona welcome their teams “home” for the town’s most electrifying two months of the year:  baseball’s Spring Training.

Spring Training has been a baseball ritual for nearly 130 years, almost as old as baseball itself. It gives new players an opportunity to compete for a coveted spot on the team’s roster and lets established players hone their skills before the season opener. For these athletes, Spring Training is all about performance.

A quick look around the league reveals how team athletic trainers are using HydroWorx products to enhance the Spring Training performance of Major League Baseball players.

Cincinnati Reds HydroWorx pool

Cincinnati Reds HydroWorx pool

Herm Schneider, Chicago White Sox

Schneider, legendary head athletic trainer for the Chicago White Sox, explains how his team utilizes aquatic therapy.

“We use our HydroWorx underwater treadmills about everyday, especially in our Spring Training home.  For our older players, we’re trying to reduce the impact on their lower bodies, back, knees and/or ankles. We get them in the pool for low-impact cardio training.”

“For the younger guys,” continues Schneider, 36-year veteran with the Sox, who has for many years boasted MLB’s lowest injury rate, “the underwater treadmill becomes a bridge from rehab to land work. After injuries, we get the athletes running in water first before we take them back out to their land workouts.  It’s a wonderful tool to have.”

Patrick Serbus, Cincinnati Reds

“In my opinion,” stated Patrick Serbus, Assistant Medical Coordinator for the Cincinnati Reds, “the best use for this modality is early return to function.  For guys who are in a non-weight bearing or partial weight bearing restriction for extended periods of time, the underwater treadmill is extremely useful. We get guys moving by using a buoyancy suit, or by lowering the treadmill deck, unloading up to 90% of their body weight.”

“Whether it’s a significant ankle injury, stress fracture or knee surgery, we get guys in as soon as their sutures and portals are closed up; get them moving as quickly as possible. It makes a huge difference.”

Ryan Bitzel, San Diego Padres

Ryan Bitzel, PT, rehab coordinator for the San Diego Padres, finds many uses for his HydroWorx therapy pool—including shoulder injuries—in the Padres’ newly revamped facility in Peoria, Arizona.

“The natural resistance that water provides has been very effective in getting our athletes started on their shoulder strengthening exercises at an earlier timeframe. During the early stages of rehab, we put them in the water and start with a couple of basic shoulder cuff strengthening exercises. Making figure eights and external rotation exercises in the water while standing promotes earlier strengthening through full range of motion for our athletes. Also, simply walking on the underwater treadmill helps the muscles to relax.”

Ryan also uses the variable-speed resistance jets to treat shoulders. “I can give them a little bit of resistance by turning on the jets and controlling the amount of water flowing from the jets.  We start them off light, then progressively get a little bit stronger, and give them something to kind of ‘push through.’”

Jimmy Southard, Seattle Mariners

Jimmy Southard, Head AT Coordinator for the Seattle Mariners explains that last year he treated an athlete who’d undergone micro-fracture surgery on his knee.

“We were able to get him moving on parts that were weight bearing a lot earlier than we would have without the underwater treadmill,” explained Southard.  “And it’s the same with ankle injuries and hamstrings.  Because of water’s buoyancy, our rehabbing athletes can still get a really solid cardiovascular workout without putting strain on the joint.”

 

We’re excited for opening day and look forward to watching all of our baseball customers throughout the season. Until then, may they stay healthy and injury-free!

 

Free Webinar: Strategies for Treating Low Back Injuries with Aquatic Therapy

On March 19, 2015 from 1-2pm EDT, Murphy Grant, MS, LAT, PES Assistant Athletic Director – Sports Medicine and Head Football Athletic Trainer at University of Kansas, will present the webinar, “Strategies for Treating Low Back Injuries with Aquatic Therapy.” This webinar will provide treatment ideas for using the benefits of hydrotherapy for low back injuries such as Lumbar Sprain, Muscular Strains, Contusions, Sciatica, Herniated Disks, Spondylosis, and Spondylolisthesis. The webinar will also offer Strategies to develop rehabilitation programs and progressions using aquatic therapy as a medium.

Register Today>>

 

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Ellsworth, Maine boasts new Senior Living Community

2015 February 26

The following blog post has been summarized from the recent press release, “Innovation in Ellsworth,” published on February 26, 2015.

Seaport Village, located in Ellsworth, ME, is a brand new, 63,600-square-foot, two-story facility that holds 91 beds — 61 for nursing care, including rehabilitation services, and the other 30 for assisted living.IMG_6040rachelwebinar

The project had been in the works for a long time as the city has had a long-standing goal of providing more services to their seniors. Ellsworth’s city manager, Michelle Beal, shares that, “Through collaboration with First Atlantic and a focused and creative development team, we’ve brought something to Ellsworth that is truly special.”

First Atlantic Healthcare, operates 16 senior living communities throughout Maine, was looking to upgrade their position in Ellsworth, a market they’d entered two decades earlier by purchasing Collier’s Rehab and Nursing Center. The location they purchased was initially somewhat of a challenge. The property was next to an empty elementary school, which underwent a major renovation to become the beautiful multi-functional community center.

“Seaport Village offers the very best in high-quality senior living and senior care—including a high tech therapy pool with underwater treadmill.  We’re so excited to be able to offer such advanced care in our rural community. It’s fabulous for our people and adds value to our city,” added Beal.

The press release also features a short interview with Rebecca LaBrie, Program Director, OTR/L, with Rehabcare, Seaport Village’s contracted rehab provider. LaBrie enthusiastically shares how the newly installed state-of-the-art therapy pool has quickly become a  hit. On the day of the open house, LaBrie had blisters from pushing the buttons so many times to demonstrate the therapy pool’s features.

The new community is nothing short of comforting, enjoyable and functional. First Atlantic truly made a point to make the environment feel more like a home than a hospital. The interior is very open and filled with areas created for socializing and relaxing.

In addition to the benefits this facility will provide for its residents, the city itself will certainly benefit too. Craig G. Coffin, First Atlantic COO, affirmed, “Developing this facility with the help of the City of Ellsworth was a gratifying process. We are truly excited about the future of healthcare in Ellsworth and the partnerships we have created. When you work together to provide the best possible care, great things happen.”

We are certainly excited for what is in store for Seaport Village as well as the City of Ellsworth, and we couldn’t be happier to be featured in this beautiful location.

Read the full story today>>

Free Webinar: Strategies for Treating Low Back Injuries with Aquatic Therapy

Join us on March 19, 2015 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT as Murphy Grant, MS, LAT, PES Assistant Athletic Director – Sports Medicine and Head Football Athletic Trainer at The University of Kansas, presents the webinar, “Strategies for Treating Low Back Injuries with Aquatic Therapy.” This webinar will provide treatment ideas for using the benefits of hydrotherapy for low back injuries such as Lumbar Sprain, Muscular Strains, Contusions, Sciatica, Herniated Disks, Spondylosis and Spondylolisthesis. The webinar will also offer strategies to develop rehabilitation programs and progressions using aquatic therapy as a medium.

Register Today>>

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The Value of Water for a Collegiate Distance Runner

2015 February 25

Kansas University AthleticsIn a collegiate setting, hydrotherapy is often used for the football, baseball and basketball players. At the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS, even the cross country and track and field teams use hydrotherapy almost daily to help transition runners with musculoskeletal injuries back to full running.

Zach Sanchez, ATC, works with the men’s and women’s cross country teams as well as the track and field teams. He recently saw a 21-year-old distance runner who had been diagnosed with a sacral stress fracture. Once he was able to participate in partial weight-bearing activities, Sanchez got the runner into their pool with an underwater treadmill to begin a running progression.

By running on the underwater treadmill for a few weeks he was able to maintain his cardiovascular fitness while also promoting healing and reducing pain in his lower back. In the water, multiple factors work to a runner’s advantage:

  • The buoyancy of the water can remove up to 100% of an athlete’s body weight, which reduces stress on the lower back, hip and knees. This means that while running on land is not possible during recovery from an injury, running in water can provide the safety needed to prevent further injury, while also pushing an athlete’s cardiovascular endurance at similar levels to land running.
  • The viscosity of the water provides “drag” while running which means muscles work harder than on land to “cut” through the water. An athlete can actually increase leg strength while running underwater due to this property of water. Add resistance from jets in the pool and you can increase the amount of work an athlete is doing, while still maintaining partial-weight bearing on affected joints.
  • The warmth of the water increases range of motion and flexibility in joints and muscles, allowing an athlete to move smoothly and with less pain. This enables them to move freely and with less joint stiffness when movement on land is limited.

Watch the following video to learn more about the case study of this sacral stress fracture at the University of Kansas:

Learn more about how underwater treadmill running can impact fitness training and view sample workouts in the book, Underwater Treadmill Running by Alberto Salazar and Dr. Dennis Dolny. Download your free book here.


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Experts Share Value of Water at CSM

2015 February 20

We had quite the fun, busy and successful week in Indianapolis for the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. We had an exciting booth with great staff which helped make this trade show successful. We handed out t-shirts, opened the pool up for attendees to try, hosted an event and more! And to top that all off, we had a special appearance from Hydro Man, the superhero who defends aging and fights pain. DSC_0424

On the second day, we hosted an afterhours event in our booth, featuring four different experts who all shared different experiences with using and integrating aquatic therapy. Over 50 attendees came to the HydroWorx booth to enjoy cocktails and appetizers and to learn more about “The Value of Water.”

Veronica Paquette, PT, ATRIC, Owner of Essex Aquatic & Rehab Center in Vermont, spoke first about her experience with integrating two HydroWorx pools into her small practice in Essex Junction, VT. She sees a variety of patient types in her facility and nearly all of them are able to benefit from aquatic therapy. “This [pool] is great not just for post-op patients and athletes, but I also have a lot of people with neuropathy that get in the pool. They cannot walk on land because they have so much pain in their feet. They can’t walk to their mailbox, but they can get in and walk 20 minutes on the underwater treadmill.” In addition to sharing the benefits of the pool for her large patient mix, Veronica touched on the impact that the pool has had on her practice.

“Before I purchased my pool, it was just me. I was seeing anywhere from 65 to 75 patients a month and I was working two days a week. The minute I opened my doors [after integrating the HydroWorx pools], I had patients five days a week. My business has more than quadrupled over the ten years that I have had my HydroWorx pool. And I would say that within the first year, it more than doubled.”

Keith Ori, BS, PT, Co-Owner of Orthopedic Rehab Facilities in Montana, continued by discussing the ROI he’s received with aquatic therapy. Keith, who has 7 clinic locations, has been able to generate a 38% profit margin with the pool. “And you can see our profit margin was 38%- I am pretty proud of that! That was a surprise to me! I look back at this and kind of wonder to myself, ‘Why did you have such a hard time pulling the trigger?’ It was a no brainer.” Keith also shared that within the first six months of integrating their HydroWorx pool, they were making a profit, which increased every year thereafter.

“It is a tremendous way to treat your patients, first, and be successful, second. This has been a tremendous asset to our practice as far as taking people who are low level, low functioning individuals and getting them going to higher levels of functioning and better living for themselves.”

DSC_0432Last but certainly not least, Dr. Dennis Dolny, PhD and Dr. Eadric Bressel, EdD, Research Specialists at Utah State University, discussed some of their recent research findings. They both have been very influential in this field with their cutting-edge aquatic treadmill research. For example, Dr. Bressel shares that he gets asked the question all the time, “Well can’t I just use, for example, an unloading device to replicate some of the advantages of using an underwater treadmill? In other words, I can unload perhaps 20% to 30% of my body weight just using a land unloader? But there is a very big difference between the two and it has to do with cognitive health. As a result of our research, we found that people actually cognitively have more brain activity in the water than on land which seems to lead to better cognitive performance in the water.” These new research findings are very exciting, because the aquatic environment can be used not only for physical health and rehabilitation but also for mental or cognitive health, which can make an even bigger impact on a patient’s overall health.

Following these presentations, Anson Flake, HydroWorx Co-Founder and CEO, presented the first ever Healthcare Excellence in Aquatics award. The first place winner was Pullman Regional Hospital for their innovative therapy program for a 3 year old patient with a brain tumor. This case study was fascinating and tied in very well to research that Dr. Bressel presented about increased cognitive performance in an aquatic environment. Ambyr Henderson, speech therapist, and Tim Williams, physical therapist, combined their efforts in their HydroWorx pool and they say the results were amazing!

If you were in attendance for the Combined Sections Meeting, we hope you enjoyed your time as much as we did. Here are a few photos from the event:

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