Skip to content

When Growing an Aquatic Therapy Practice; Geography, Transportation and Social Customs Play Huge Roles

2015 March 30
by hydroworx

Our therapy pools have operated in some unusual locations.  They’ve been used at high altitude to help elite runners like Mo Farah train for Olympic-sized goals; they’ve even been seen outside of a Pennsylvania microbrewery and pub to provide the setting for the inaugural underwater marathon relay event.  But those settings are truly out of the norm.

HydroWorx 500 Series at Boston Sports Medicine

HydroWorx 500 Series at Boston Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

For aquatic therapy clinics that want to grow a following and operate in the black year-after-year, geography, transportation and societal habits play as much of a part as picking the perfect hydrotherapy pool partner.

Dr. Michael Velsmid, Director of Boston Sports Medicine Physical Therapy, knows this principle well.  Thanks to his practical, careful planning, his clinic has enjoyed continuous revenue production and even turned a profit in 2007, the year he installed two HydroWorx therapy pools at one of his seven facilities.  However, he didn’t take the choice of facilities lightly; instead, he examined all his options before choosing to lease a space in Allston, a borough of Boston.

As Dr. Velsmid has explained, his criteria for finding the perfect therapy pools were just as critical as his criteria for choosing a place to house those pools.  Some of the considerations that led to the opening of the Allston Aquatic Therapy Center included:

  • Accessibility for patients.  This meant for patients who were driving themselves to appointments, were being driven to appointments or were using public transportation to get to appointments.  As physical therapy clinic owners know, even the slightest barrier, such as having to turn left in impossibly heavy traffic, can lead patients to cancel or “no show”.  By selecting a locale that provided easy accessibility, Dr. Velsmid removed potential objections before they were ever voiced.
  • Densely populated and traveled area.  Even the most amazing therapy pool isn’t going to produce much traffic if it’s situated off the beaten path.  The pools at Boston Sports Medicine Physical Therapy are located in a part of Boston that’s densely populated for a good reason: that’s where many patients are likely to live, work or travel through.  In fact, Dr. Velsmid tried to ensure that no current aquatic therapy patients or staff members would have to travel too far from other Boston-area offices for appointments.
  • Great visibility.  Have you ever had to search and search to find a place of business, only to discover that their signage seemed to be hidden?  Dr. Velsmid wanted his physical therapy space signs to be obvious from the street so there was no confusion on where patients should go.  Great visibility equates to one more mode of marketing.
  • Affordable rent/lease.  Leasing a space in any major, attractive and safe market means making a significant investment.  Dr. Velsmid carefully explored all his lease options before signing on the dotted line.

After eight years, the Allston Aquatic Therapy Center is going strong and continues to attract patients, as well as emerging aquatic therapy leaders who want to work in the Boston region.

Thanks to the pragmatism that Dr. Velsmid and his trusted personnel and partners showed in the early stages of aquatic therapy clinic planning, there’s no question that they all made the right decision when it came to location, location, location!


Are you interested in learning more about aquatic therapy? Download our free tip sheet today to learn 5 Ways Aquatic Therapy Impacts Rehabilitation>>

Share this HydroWorx post with friends!

Reducing Overuse Injuries in Athletes of All Ages

2015 March 27

MJPOveruseimagewebOveruse injuries occur in athletes of all ages and across multiple sports. From youth to professional to Olympians, the problem of overuse injuries continues to plague athletes who try to get the most out of their training.

According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), overuse injuries are the result of repetitive micro-trauma to the tendons, bones and joints. These can occur when the body is not given enough time or ability to recover between training sessions or when technique is not correct.

The elite performance specialists at Michael Johnson Performance (MJP) in McKinney, TX have found that using aquatic therapy can help to reduce some of these injuries. Aquatic therapy can be used as an active recovery technique, a supplement to land training and a conditioning tool for those that are injured.

We recently spoke with a few performance specialists at MJP who work with varying groups of athletes about how they use hydrotherapy to reduce overtraining injuries and also how they can get more out of their training by using water.

Watch the video below to hear from Lucas Odergard, Youth Coordinator, Lindsey Anderson, Performance Specialist and Lance Walker, Global Performance Director:

View the webinar, “Use of Aquatics for Recovery and Regeneration” presented by Lance Walker on demand here>>

Share this HydroWorx post with friends!

Now Accepting Excellence in Aquatics Award (SMED) Submissions

2015 March 26

HydroWorx is proud to announce the opening of the 2015 Excellence in Aquatics Award (SMED). This award was created to recognize athletic trainers who have achieved exceptional rehabilitation results through the use of advanced water therapy.

The 2014 Excellence in Aquatics Award Nominees

The 2014 Excellence in Aquatics Award Nominees

The first award was presented in 2013 at the National Athletic Training Association’s annual Symposium to Eric Sugarman, Head Athletic Trainer of the Minnesota Vikings. Last year, the award was presented to Coastal Carolina’s Barry Lippman MS, ATC, NASM-PES, for the Shoulder Rehabilitation of a Division 1 Second Baseman. This year, Lippman will proudly serve on our panel of judges alongside 5 other clinical experts. To see the entire list of judges, click here>>

Sports fans everywhere love a good comeback story. The spirit of the game is epitomized by an athlete’s triumph just months after recovering from a devastating injury. Behind these great comeback stories are the athletic trainers and medical staff who also sacrificed to ensure these athletes and teams would reach their goals.

The 2015 Excellence in Aquatics Award will recognize professionals who, despite all odds, garnered superior rehabilitation results through innovative, and sometimes unconventional, methods. Eligible pioneers rely on aquatics as a medium to help achieve exceptional results.

How to Submit an Exceptional Rehabilitation Case Study:

In order to participate, your clinical case study must focus on an athlete who returned to play from an injury between January 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015. If you are selected as a nominee, you or a representative from your facility, must be present at NATA in St. Louis, MO in June when the winner is announced.

Athletic trainers can submit their exceptional case study until May 1, 2015 at 11:59pm EDT 


To participate click here to learn more and to download the submission form!

The Award:

  • The 2015 Excellence in Aquatics Award recipient will receive a trophy commemorating their accomplishments for Aquatic Excellence and a $1,000 cash prize.
  • The second place recipient will receive a $500 cash prize.
Share this HydroWorx post with friends!

Fresh Ideas for Pediatric Aquatic Therapy. Access Webinar On-Demand.

2015 March 25

Photo 2On March 12, 2015, the NRHA hosted a webinar titled, “Pediatric Aquatic Therapy: Improving Outcomes by Integrating Play & Creativity.” In this webinar, Amy Arruda, DPT, ATRIC, Director of Aquatics at Leg Up Farm in Mt. Wolf, PA discussed many different cases and the creative programming she uses to keep children engaged and progressing in their therapy.

Leg Up Farm is a non-profit therapy center in York County, Pennsylvania, for children with disabilities and developmental delays. They have seen some great results from using aquatic therapy combined with some creativity with their pediatric clients.

In the webinar, Amy reviewed the setup of their unique facility, the cases they often see and then discussed how aquatic therapy can benefit children with many different disabilities. She discussed:

  • The benefits of water
  • Typical protocols used in the water for body awareness and voluntary muscle movement
  • Ways to make common protocols fun and engaging for children
  • Case studies of children who made significant improvements after integrating aquatic therapy into their programs

The entire program at Leg Up Farm is quite impressive and they are seeing great results from combining aquatic therapy into traditional physical therapy programs, especially for children who are beginning to plateau in their progress on land. They have seen that once the children are in the pool, they have a renewed desire to perform exercises and often don’t recognize it as work.

Watch the webinar on-demand to learn more about the program at Leg Up Farm>>

View Webinar On Demand

Leg Up Farm is a non-profit therapy center in York County, Pennsylvania, for children with disabilities and developmental delays. They believe every child is special and deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. To achieve this goal, they know that therapy takes a lot of time and hard work. Their individually tailored treatment plans, breadth of services, and child-friendly environment in a convenient, centralized location are the keys to success that will improve outcomes for children and families.

Share this HydroWorx post with friends!

Why Water Worx for Rural Health Providers

2015 March 19


Integrating water therapy into a rural hospital can help achieve quality outcomes and reduce readmissions. Clinicians who have used advanced aquatic technology, such as underwater treadmills and resistance therapy jets, as part of their rehabilitation services, have found that their patients achieve better rehab outcomes. These patients also experience less pain related to rehabilitation and are happier to comply with their rehabilitation protocols.

“This pool is allowing our patients to get into a more therapeutic environment, begin their therapy early, more comfortably and progress toward land-based activities in a much more rapid manner. So we really believe it’s been an excellent tool to help us continue to achieve nationally ranked outcomes. ”- Mick Ward, Director of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Services at Freeman Health System in Joplin, MO

Rural health providers face financial challenges that make it essential for decision makers to be able to see the road map to return on investment before making any capital purchase.  In this white paper, current HydroWorx rural health customers share the financial impact that adding a therapy pool to their clinic has had. For example, Veronica Paquette, Owner of Essex Aquatic & Rehab Center in Essex Junction, VT, shares that since integrating a therapy pool in her clinic, she now sees an average of 275 patients per week compared to 65-75 patients per week prior to having an aquatic therapy pool.

In addition to real-life ROI examples, this white paper provides testimonials from current rural aquatic therapy users as well as proven research on how water can benefit the rural patient population.

“From a patient care perspective, the efficiency, safety and therapeutic advantages of the pool have improved our outcomes and helped us keep our community healthier. Our arthritic clients have been able to delay and avoid surgery, and post-injury clients can begin their therapies much sooner.” - Ty Shaull, Chief Operating Officer for Wyandot Community Hospital in Upper Sandusky, OH

Download our free white paper today to see the impact warm water therapy can have on your rural community, including:

  • Improved results and patient compliance for therapy services
  • Potential financial gains from aquatic therapy based on user experiences
  • Additional uses for various populations and conditions

Download 'Why Water Worx for  Rural Health Providers' White Paper 


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

On March 19, 2015 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT Murphy Grant, MS, LAT, PES Assistant Athletic Director – Sports Medicine and Head Football Athletic Trainer at The University of Kansas, presented the webinar, “Strategies for Treating Low Back Injuries with Aquatic Therapy.” This webinar provided 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 also offers strategies to develop rehabilitation programs and progressions using aquatic therapy as a medium.

View Webinar On Demand

Share this HydroWorx post with friends!