What does ice cream have to do with aquatic therapy? Nothing. Unless you live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and you—or a family member—happen to be seeking aquatic care at Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospital in St. Paul, MN.
Ice cream paid for their pool.
Construction to install the new HydroWorx 2000 Series therapy pool at St. Paul’s Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare was made possible by a donation from International Dairy Queen , Inc., and its local DQ franchisees who have pledged funds raised through efforts at DQ headquarters as well as local stores in the Twin Cities area. For the next two years, contributions made from franchise locations and corporate headquarters will pay for the therapy pool at Gillette. Construction began February 17, 2015.
Gillette earmarked space for the pool several years ago and has been seeking a donor to fund the project. Dairy Queen emerged to turn their vision into a reality.
“This was a unique opportunity and we were happy to step up and help out,” stated Adam Layne, Cause Marketing Manager for International Dairy Queen, Inc.
This is the second HydroWorx pool for the hospital network. The Burnsville location—20 miles from the St. Paul Campus—offers interdisciplinary specialty services, including aquatic therapy, for patients with a wide range of complex conditions and injuries.
“The addition of the pool at the St. Paul campus doubles the capacity to serve patients in need of aquatic therapy and offers extended hours and much needed convenience. We believe it’s a great progression for GCSH,” continued Layne.
Dairy Queen fundraises for the healthcare network through its affiliation with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and has raised more than $4 million for Gillette since 1984.
So next time you’re enjoying a spoonful of your favorite Blizzard Treat or attacking the last slivers of a Dilly Bar, add another satisfying factor to this delicious experience: you’re helping kids. That’s a tasty win-win.
Don’t miss our upcoming webinar: “Creating a Scalable Business with Aquatic Therapy”
April 22, 2015 from 1:00 – 2:00pm EDT
Presented by: Keith Ori, PT and Patrick Gulick, MS, PT, Co-Owners of Orthopedic Rehab’s Aquatic and Spine Center in Kalispell, MT
Join Keith Ori and Patrick Gulick as they share how they developed a sustainable, successful business model for an aquatic therapy clinic including examples of their financial figures. Register Today>>
Drs. Dennis Dolny and Eadric Bressel from Utah State University, teamed up to evaluate the effects of underwater treadmill walking in a HydroWorx pool versus shallow water walking in a static pool. Their findings, backed by both raw data as well as underwater camera videos, support clinicians’ anecdotal reports that their patients and athletes who walk in a HydroWorx pool are better equipped to transfer what they learn to land than their counterparts who engage in self-directed shallow water walking.
A Pace That Reflects Real Life
In the study, Dolny and Bressel asked participants who walked in a shallow water pool, as well as those who walked on the HydroWorx, to freely choose a comfortable walking pace. The pace chosen by subjects in shallow water equated to about 1.3 miles per hour, while subjects on HydroWorx treadmills averaged a little more than 3 miles per hour. Not only was the walking velocity about 50% faster in the HydroWorx, but the 3 miles per hour stride better mimicked a typical land speed.
The Right Stride for Land Walking
In addition to pace, the researchers studied stride characteristics of all participants. The stride rates differed noticeably between the shallow water walkers and HydroWorx pool treadmill walkers. The latter group again had a stride that approximated what could be expected during land walking for their age group. Finally, the range of motion at subjects’ hips and knees were measured, and the same conclusion was apparent: the HydroWorx encouraged participants to select angles that were consistent with those found during land-based walking.
Support for HydroWorx and the Principle of Specificity
This information is especially important to any clinicians that are considering how aquatic therapy in a HydroWorx pool will help their patients or athletes adapt better to land-based occupational and physical therapy exercises.
As the Principle of Specificity notes, a person can only get good at what he or she repeatedly does. Though shallow water walking may have the word “walking” in its description, the type of walking done in this type of environment does not appear to produce the correct posture, gait and range of motion to carry over into a land-based environment; the type of walking in the HydroWorx does.
Drs. Dolny and Bressel have complied videos from this research study that clearly demonstrates the differences between underwater treadmill walking and shallow water walking. Throughout the video Drs. Dolny and Bressel describe their research as well as the noteable differences in the gait patterns and reasons that are contributing to it.
The benefits of aquatic therapy are becoming increasingly widely accepted. However, there are still some commonly held beliefs about the limitations of the use of aquatics, especially for athletic training and sports performance.
Join us May 14, 2015 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT for the free webinar, “Addressing Potential Misconceptions about
Training with Aquatics.” Lance Walker, PT, CSCS, Global Director of Performance for Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, TX, will review some of these potential misconceptions, and to what extent his considerable experience with using aquatics as part of his training program has supported or contradicted them.
Some commonly held misconceptions about aquatics that will be discussed include:
- The effectiveness of an aquatic environment is limited strictly to rehabilitation purposes.
- In the water, it’s not possible to match the intensity of a land-based workout.
- A natural running gait cannot be replicated in the water.
These topics will be illustrated by video examples of the aquatic training protocols used at Michael Johnson Performance.
Sometimes, you have to make calculated investments when you want to explore new streams of revenue. That’s what happened when Westview Heath Care Center in Dayville, CT, made the decision to open their doors to outpatient services and house a fully equipped treatment facility with a HydroWorx therapy pool.
Idea Seeds Are Sown…
Westview Health Care Center had a long-standing reputation as being a skilled nursing facility for those who were aging. Since 1954, their organization had served a multitude of families from the northeastern part of the state. Yet they realized they were missing a key – and underserved – portion of the public: individuals who needed innovative, state-of-the-art outpatient therapy options.
Building a New Legacy…
To become the premiere provider of these types of services, Westview Health Care Center added a spacious, high-tech 2,400 square foot gymnasium. The gymnasium area would be the site of physical therapy for populations who previously had no easy access to leading-edge modalities such as aquatic therapy in a pool with an underwater treadmill. For Westview Health Care Center, the results have been nothing short of rewarding on all levels.
Reaping the Rewards…
After unveiling their therapy-focused gymnasium as a place for land-based physical or occupational therapy treatment, sports medicine regimens, primary treatment interventions and aquatic interventions, they didn’t have to wait long to see how needed their new service was. Over time, they realized the schedule was packed solid; in fact, the HydroWorx pool is now booked solid with appointments seven days a week for eight hours every day!
Additionally, Westview Health Care Center has achieved a 5-star rating from U.S. News & World Report as well as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It’s also rated as one of the top 10 nursing facilities in CT by Consumer Reports. Though these honors are thrilling, what speaks even more to the importance of their aquatic therapy program are the words of patients such as one who concluded when asked about her experiences: “…We opened my world.”
For Westview Health Care Center, a sincere, deep-felt statement such as that one shows just how powerful of an impact they’ve had on their neighbors and friends with the power of visionary thinking, well-conceived planning and, of course, water.
To learn more about the success of Westview Health Care Center download the Skilled Nursing Outpatient Therapy Program Profile here>>
On April 22, 2015, the ICAA hosted a webinar titled, “Influence of an Aquatic Environment on Cognition and Gait.” In this webinar, Dr. Eadric Bressel, Professor and Clinical Research Scientist in the Sports Medicine Program and Dr. Dennis Dolny, Department Head of Health, Physical Education & Recreation in the College of Education & Human Services at Utah State University in Logan, UT discussed two different research studies where they have seen an impressive impact from an aquatic environment on cognition and from an underwater treadmill on gait.
Drs. Bressel and Dolny have performed extensive research on aquatic therapy and underwater treadmill training. Through the years, they have identified some remarkable findings on aquatic therapy regarding subjects such as osteoarthritis, balance, metabolic cost and lactate threshold.
In the webinar, they reviewed two different studies done on aquatic therapy:
- Effects of water on cognition: Based on an Australian study regarding blood flow to the brain, they chose to perform a further study of the effects of an aquatic environment on cognition. Dr. Bressel spoke specifically on their findings and included a sample of the cognition study, images of participants doing the study, balance board results, cognition results and a sample audio cognitive test. In this study, they found that cognitive abilities actually increased in the water, which was not what they expected to see.
- Shallow water walking vs. treadmill water walking: Having both a static pool and an underwater treadmill pool at Utah State, they set out to identify what, if any, difference existed between the two and if there were any advantages to either. Dr. Dolny presented the differences they observed in speed capabilities, ROM and stride length in both environments as compared to land. Based on this information, it is apparent that underwater treadmill walking provides results much closer to those of land walking, which can help bridge the gap between early rehab and late stage rehab. Videos were presented to show the differences, and it was obvious that gait abnormalities were present during shallow water walking in a static pool to a much greater degree than while walking on an underwater treadmill. The webinar audience provided clinical feedback on the patient’s static pool gait by identifying abnormalities such as, lumbar strain, arched back, forward torso, lack of heel strike, limited ROM and stride length.
We continue to be amazed by Dr. Bressel and Dr. Dolny’s findings on aquatic therapy. We recognize so many commonly understood advantages of aquatic therapy, as well as anecdotal evidence from case studies, of aquatic therapy, but this new research is truly groundbreaking.
They did a great job describing their methods and processes in this webinar while providing clear and concise data. To learn more about these research studies, view the webinar on-demand – only available until Friday, May 1, 2015!