Maybe you are a runner and have been sidelined with an injury. Or maybe running is the last thing on your mind, but you have an injury and are looking for a way to get better, and quick. Either way, your solution could be the underwater treadmill at Motion Physical Therapy clinic, located in The Woodlands, TX.
Not sure what Aquatic Therapy is? We have all of the information you need to know about it and its benefits in a separate article which you can read here, but we do not want you to just take our word for it. Physical Therapist Timothy Miller at St. Luke’s Physical Therapy in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, stated that water is not only a great place to exercise, but offers amazing characteristics. “The buoyancy of the water decreases stress on the joints, the viscosity provides resistance for strength training, and the hydrostatic pressure helps support the body providing a safe workout environment,” stated Miller, in the article Benefits of Underwater Treadmills.
There are different types of underwater treadmills available, but the one featured at Motion Physical therapy is called the Hydro Track System and involves a private pool tank area with a motorized belt and adjustable water heights and temperatures. While a traditional pool’s temperature is between 78 and 85 degrees, these specialized, free-standing tubs can be heated up to about 92 degrees, promoting flexibility and muscle relaxation, as well as reducing fatigue.
For the runners, The Hydro Track system can be used to treat most common running injuries, including Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and generic knee pain. Should the runner need to recover from an injury or build endurance and speed, Miller said that underwater treadmills prove a great way to do either.
“Underwater treadmills mimic on-land running and provide comparable cardiovascular benefits, runners can avoid losing too much fitness while rehabbing,” Miller stated. In addition, “an underwater treadmill is a great option if you’re looking to add extra mileage without the extra wear and tear on your legs or if you want to bounce back more quickly after harder efforts.”
Even if you are not a runner, you may be experiencing an injury that could benefit from this versatile system. “What kind of injuries can be rehabilitated using the underwater treadmill?” you may ask. In addition to running injuries, the underwater treadmill can also be used to treat injuries like ankle sprains, fractures, ACL reconstruction, hip pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. (For a more detailed list of treatable injuries, click here). While the Hydro Track will not cure an injury, it does provide a low-impact method to sustain fitness and rebuild muscle strength, which can speed recovery.1
According to Miller, the only downside to the underwater treadmill is the availability. “They are very common in professional sports and at the Olympic training level, but there aren’t many available to the general public.” That is why Motion Physical Therapy in the Woodlands is so pleased to offer this uncommon, but extremely beneficial piece of equipment for aquatic therapy services. In the words of Miller: “If someone has access to one, I would highly recommend using one.”
Hetzel, M. (2014, March 17). Benefits of underwater treadmills. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/benefits-of-underwater-treadmills