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Let’s Meet Healthcare Excellence in Aquatics Award Nominee #3

2015 January 16

Over these weeks during open voting, we are sharing the expanded story of each nominee of the 2015 Healthcare Excellence in Aquatics Award. The nominees are being introduced in alphabetical order.

Our third nominee is: Pullman Regional Hospital for the Innovative Therapy Program for a 3-year-old Patient Recovering from a Brain Tumor

PullmanAt the age of two, Jackson was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with hydrocephalus and a brain tumor that needed to be removed.

As a result of the tumor location and the surgery procedures, Jackson had expressive language, voice and gross motor delays and difficulties.

Jackson began speech and physical therapy on land prior to the installation of the HydroWorx pool at Pullman Regional Hospital. He was making gradual gains but was beginning to plateau. Once the pool was installed in the early fall of 2014, Ambyr Henderson, MS, CCC-SLP and Tim Williams, PT, DPT, were inspired to try an innovative form of therapy by combining speech and physical therapy in the HydroWorx pool and the results were astounding!

Both Ambyr and Tim were pioneers in combining speech and physical therapy services within the pool just as they were with creating a potential protocol for this style of therapy. Some of the exercises for this protocol included:

  • For Physical Therapy: Exercises that focused on kicking techniques, using bent and straight knee, reciprocal arm movements, catching and throwing with a ball, floating for trunk stability, jumping on an elevated surface and more.
  • For Speech Therapy: Their target was to increase Jackson’s volume of speech, increase the amount of words that he is producing and improve his articulation skills.

Ambyr and Tim saw noticeable results within the first two sessions of this combination therapy. For speech therapy, Jackson made the best progress in voice projections ever documented in his year of outpatient care.  For physical therapy, they saw the greatest change in amplitude of movement. The therapy within the pool provided an environment that challenged Jackson to speak louder, articulate more clearly, produce longer sentences, elicit stronger movements with greater control and reignite his engagement in therapy.

The installation of the HydroWorx therapy pool allowed Ambyr and Tim to try a unique way of providing therapy. Initially, they were unsure what Jackson’s response was going to be, but after seeing such a dramatic improvement within the first session, they decided to continue this style of therapy and plan to expand the program to other pediatric patients!

From the second that Jackson saw the HydroWorx pool he was elated with a huge smile on his face. For the entire session, Jackson was engaged, animated and participated better than he had in while. As therapists, it has been an absolute joy to see all of the progress that Jackson has made in such a short time with introducing therapy in the pool. – Ambyr and Tim

Learn more about Jackson’s story and watch him in action in the pool in the video below:

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Youngest Oregon Project Athlete Trains Hard on Land and in Water

2015 January 15

MaryCainVideoShe may be the youngest athlete that the Oregon Project, headed by world-renowned distance runner Alberto Salazar, has on its roster, but Mary Cain is no newbie to athleticism. She quickly rose to stardom during her high school years, possessing phenomenal speed and astounding teammates as well as competitors. Of course, she worked hard, too, which is something she continues to do under Salazar’s careful and pragmatic coaching. And like her Oregon Project colleagues, such as gold and silver medalists Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, she cross-trains in their HydroWorx pool.

After Cain joined the Oregon Project in late 2012, she caught the public’s eye at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics, held in Moscow. She placed 10th, an incredible achievement for the youngest middle distance runner ever to compete for the United States. As part of team USA, she got the opportunity to experience elite running at its finest… something that most high school students (Mary graduated in 2014) never have the chance to do. More successes followed on the heels of these accolades, including snagging a gold medal in the 3000m race at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics. There, she ran a personal best of 8:58:48.  A self-described “curmudgeon” with a fast wit and winning smile, Cain is focusing hard on the huge prize that awaits in 2016: The summer games in Rio.

Before she gets the opportunity to compete in South America for her country, there’s little doubt that she’ll be logging plenty of miles on the Oregon Project’s underwater treadmill. She has known the HydroWorx pool almost as long as she’s known Salazar and uses it as a regular part of her weekly training. This will enable her to gain the advantages that have led other runners to medals, honors and big dreams:

  • Safe cross-training.  Cain runs more miles in a week than some casual runners will in a year.  However, she isn’t super-human. Her joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments and bones take a beating with every footstep. In the water, she’ll be cushioned by buoyancy, enabling her to increase her mileage and boost her endurance without risking repetitive-stress injuries.
  • Increased lean muscle mass.  For runners at Cain’s level, having bulk isn’t part of the plan: It’s lean muscle mass that gets you to the front of the pack. Researchers at Texas A&M University have tested the HydroWorx’s ability to improve lean muscle mass for athletes, and have discovered that it’s a powerful way to get leaner overall.
  • Improved speed.  The water presents a unique amount of resistance for runners, especially when they are submerged to their xiphoid process (chest) areas. Unlike the feeling of running on land, running in the water forces the arms and legs to work harder. This may be one of the contributors to HydroWorx being linked to increased VO2 max in athletes like Cain.

The sky is the limit for Cain, although she’s wisely starting with her feet firmly planted on the ground and on the underwater treadmill. To learn more about this up-and-coming phenom, check out our exclusive video of her training hard in the HydroWorx and her thoughts on how using the underwater treadmill will affect her performance.

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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Let’s Meet Healthcare Excellence in Aquatics Award Nominee #2

2015 January 12

Over the weeks during voting we would like to share the expanded story of each nominee of the 2015 Healthcare Excellence in Aquatics Award. The nominees are being introduced in alphabetical order.

Judy Bryan rehabbing at Premier Rehabilitation

Judy Bryan rehabbing at Premier Rehabilitation

Our second nominee is: Premier Rehabilitation’s Brad Stuckey for the Inspiring Rehabilitation of a Lumbar Spinal Fusion Patient

Judy Bryan, age 55, had suffered from scoliosis since she was a child and did everything she could to avoid having surgery, including pain medications and a lot of physical therapy. However, she became concerned as the neuropathy and pain worsened that she would be completely dysfunctional if she did not have surgery.

Judy finally had a lumbar spinal fusion from T9 to sacrum, totaling nearly half of her back.

Judy was presented to Brad Stuckey, PT, DPT, at Premier Rehabilitation in Texas, two and a half months following her surgery to begin rehabilitation. Prior to her first therapy session, was still having considerable amounts of pain and was actually unable to sit during her initial evaluation.

As a result of her evaluation, Brad decided to immediately begin rehabilitation in their HydroWorx pool. Judy initially struggled considerably and had very low endurance, but she was able to progress very quickly due to the warmth of the water. For her rehab program, they instituted a core/lumbar stabilization program, scapular and lower extremity strengthening exercises, functional movements and a walking program.

Some of the exercises for Judy’s rehab program included:

  • Hip abduction and adduction extensions
  • Underwater squats
  • Single leg step-ups
  • Single leg balance
  • Shoulder extensions with water dumbbells
  • Dumbbell fly
  • Shoulder rotation
  • Rows using a flat kick board

This protocol along with the walking program allowed Judy to walk pain-free in the pool, and as a result her strength and endurance improved greatly. Prior to therapy, Judy’s functional mobility was significantly impaired. Since she has been discharged from her aquatic therapy, she is able to walk without pain on land, sit for longer periods of time, drive, walk up stairs pain-free and so much more!

Judy’s perspective on life has improved as well. The improvements that she has experienced physically as a result of using the pool, for just six weeks, have impacted her emotionally and psychologically. She felt her overall ‘spirit had been lifted’ and was thankful to regain so much more of her functional mobility than what she thought was possible.

Watch Judy’s rehabilitation in two videos below:


View the expanded story of nominee #1 here>>

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Get Your DVR Ready for an Awesome College Football Championship Game! 

2015 January 12
University of Oregon's Hydrotherapy center

University of Oregon’s Hydrotherapy center

The battle lines are drawn for a true match-up tonight: The College Football Championship game between the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes.  There’s a lot to look forward to at this spirited event, including the venue. This battle will take place at Dallas Cowboy’s AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The final design of the field is absolutely stunning.  Talk about a gridiron that has it all… they definitely pulled out all the stops to make it pristine.

While no one knows who will win this clash of football titans, despite the questionable prediction methods of fans everywhere, we do know one thing: we, at HydroWorx, will be on the edge of our seats cheering for both teams. That’s because both Oregon and Ohio State have HydroWorx therapy pools to help their athletes get faster and stronger, not to mention recover from injuries, surgeries and strains.

One of Ohio State University's HydroWorx pool

One of Ohio State University’s HydroWorx pool

One young player may even get a chance to play his first game back tonight, after rehabbing from a broken foot.


We look forward to celebrating tonight, and catching up with both teams throughout 2015.  Will you be watching?


Share your predictions with us on Facebook.




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HydroWorx, a proud supporter of MLS and International Football Clubs

2015 January 9

HydroWorx strongly believes in the power of education. We strive to provide the most current resources, information and training for all who are interested in learning more about the value of water. Additionally, we attend many events throughout the year that also help us spread the word about water therapy, conditioning and recovery.

HydroWorx pool at Chelsea FC

HydroWorx pool at Chelsea FC

One upcoming educational event we will be attending is the Hospital for Special Surgery’s Major League Soccer Medical Symposium on January 10th in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This course covers injury identification, prevention and treatment techniques pertaining to soccer-specific injuries such as hamstring injuries, extra-articular hip injuries, spinal conditions and more. HydroWorx is a proud supporter of the MLS, and a handful of teams utilize HydroWorx technology for rehabilitation, training and recovery such as Houston Dynamo, Chicago Fire, Sporting Kansas City and more. In addition to the MLS, HydroWorx technology is being used by many international football clubs across the globe including, Chelsea FC, Manchester United, Aston Villa FC, Manchester City and more.

Manchester United, in the UK, is one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world. Manchester United has been a formalized team for 136 years and during that time they have collected 62 trophies, including a record 20 English League titles. The 20th English League title happened at the close of the 2012-2013 season. HydroWorx happened to be visiting the club around this time and sat down with John Davin, one of the club’s physiotherapists, the day after the team secured their 20th title.

The HydroWorx aquatic therapy pool with underwater treadmill is frequently used by members of the Manchester United club. Davin shares that he tries to get athletes in the water as soon as possible following an injury. This allows for increased range of motion and decreased swelling, and it allows the athletes to correct their gait imperfections immediately. This is important as it prevents the athletes from overcompensating for their injury and subsequently developing a limp. Davin adds that working in an aquatic environment is beneficial for his athletes because walking on the underwater treadmill mimics the same gait pattern used when walking on land, but without the added pressure on the joints. Additionally, swelling is often reduced as a result of the water’s natural hydrostatic pressure.

“We have noticed that if we spend a good amount of time, 30 to 40 minutes of work in the water, any swollen knees or ankles have significantly reduced when we take them out again.”

In addition to using their HydroWorx pool for rehabilitation and therapy, the team also uses the pool for conditioning and training workouts. Because of water’s added resistance the athletes are able to get an intense cardiovascular workout in the pool while being unloaded.

Watch the full interview with Manchester United’s John Davin here:

Are you interested in learning more about how aquatic therapy can enhance rehabilitation? Download the full case study of the England Senior Men’s Team’s physiotherapist today.

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