Aquatic Therapy Reaches Union County

Heading into initial rehabilitation from an injury or surgery can be stressful as there are many therapy types available. Luckily, Union County citizens now have an advanced aquatic therapy opportunity to explore. Tennessee Therapeutics, located at 2945 Maynardville Highway in Maynardville, is now offering a specialty aquatic exercise service to propose a way of getting back to preinjury state sooner while reducing pain during rehabilitation sessions. This type of physical therapy also soothes aching joints and muscles, exercises and rehabilitates safely without joint stress for low functioning and deconditioned joints, and improves balance, strength, and cardiovascular conditioning.

The progressive HydroWorx 200 was recently installed at the facility, enhancing rehabilitation service in Union County drastically. This is one of only approximately three in the region, including those of the University of Tennessee and Carson Newman University. This new technology is set apart from general water therapy by its outstanding features enhancing restoration of injury points and pain reduction. Physical Therapist Agnes Abella wanted to make it possible for Union County citizens to have access to such modern therapeutics. She chose the HydroWorx because they were the only physical therapy company offering the system with the underwater massage hose, which is a set-apart feature. Abella says, “There is nothing better than water for therapy, it promotes circulation as well as many other benefits.”

The HydroWorx 200 is a state of the art system that is truly holistic. It has been designed to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and enhance rehabilitation outcomes. The functional design of this series has all the features required for effective therapy, rehabilitation, and fitness including underwater treadmill, variable water depth, resistance jets, and tissue massage. The ability to reduce your weight bearing status in the water allows you to begin rehab exercises sooner than land based exercises, thus speeding up recovery and minimizing the loss of range of motion on the injured joint. The hydro-static pressure of the water also naturally decreases inflammation to increase circulation.

The integrated underwater treadmill offers variable speeds as well as a cushioned surface with a low impact design. The speeds increase smoothly from a .01 to 6 mph in safe increments. It is useful for all types of therapy such as gait training or sport-specific activities. This feature will help many patients because the body weight will be uplifted, making them walk with lesser pain.

The resistance jet is essential for water therapy, rehabilitation, sports performance or balance training. The jet has a wide range of water speeds and directional configurations to provide the proper amount of resistance for each patient’s needs. It is also beneficial for helping progress patients through rehabilitation and improving balance and strength.

The aquatic verses land therapy comparison of stretching is incomparable for pain. Tina Wood is an aquatic patient at the facility. She has been using it for back therapy. Tina said, “I am a firm believer in the therapy program working on my condition. I miss it when I’m not using it.”

The therapeutic massage hose is a bonus feature that is described as magical by several patients. It is attachable underwater and can be utilized for scar tissue manipulation, pain management, and deep tissue massage. Using the massage hose can increase flexibility, improve circulation, promote muscle relaxation, and in general just make the whole therapy session feel much more relaxing. The massage hose creates water pressure and patients can stretch their hamstring less painfully.

Adjustable water depths make it easy to quickly add or remove water to attain water depths with the touch of a button. There are also safety handrails and supports, to ensure patient comfort and security. Working against gravity with the combination of warm water is very therapeutic and soothing and it is proven to work. Joel Anstett, a current therapy patient, says that he plans to try the aquatic therapy approach for his condition.

This type of aquatic therapy can greatly impact the results achieved during rehabilitation. When the natural healing properties of water are combined with advanced aquatic therapy technology such as an underwater treadmill, resistance therapy jets, and deep tissue massage, like the HydroWorx, the result is an unbeatable rehabilitation tool and it is now available in Union County.

People referred for aquatic physical therapy usually have difficulty exercising on land. Patients with these conditions are ideally suited for the aquatic therapy including arthritis and chronic pain, back and spine conditions, neck, shoulder, low back, knee or ankle injuries, chronic pain, neurological conditions, sports medicine and performance, weight loss, and cardiac, as well as rehabilitation after surgeries. Total knee and total hip replacements, shoulder pain and neck patients can do some of the exercises pertaining to the specific condition as well.

Kim Richnafsky is an aquatic patient for bilateral plantar fasciitis. Kim is hoping to avoid surgery and says, “I shouldn’t have ignored the symptoms for over two years. I started with land therapy but going into the tank I did notice a big improvement quickly with far less pain.” As a partial weight bearing patient, having a way to move and safely begin rehabilitation can do amazing things for the body and emotional well-being as well. The resilience of the water eliminates 90% of a person’s body weight, allowing you to safely begin therapeutic exercises shortly after an injury without the fear of falling or re-injury. When you are bearing less body weight, the stress on your legs and joints is greatly diminished. Additionally, the warm water acts as an aid for sore, swollen, or injured joints and muscles, resulting in less pain and increased range of motion. The maximum treatment program in the HydroWorx machine is 30-40 minutes per session.

This ingenuity brings great opportunity for athletes in the area. Coaches should contact Tennessee Therapeutics for questions on how to get players enrolled after an injury. Area orthopedic clinics are aware of the service and are beginning to give this option to athletes as it is recommended for sports injuries, specifically ACL injuries, to rehabilitate in the water, ankle and foot injuries as well.

To attend this type of therapy, you must have orders from your doctor as it is not for public use. The session can begin as young as very small children with adjustments to the water in the tank to specific heights and weights. It is covered by most insurance and also by Veterans Affairs. Tennessee Therapeutics proudly offers the only physical therapy aquatic exercise using the HydroWorx in Union County. For more information, please contact 865-992-6933.

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Interested in Homeschooling?

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 18:00

Join us for our annual Mom's night out. Monday, February 25, at six pm when April Shepherd, from the Smoky Mountain Home Education Association will be speaking at Hardees. April, a proponent of country living and a successful homeschooling Mother, will be speaking on using everyday living to teach fundamentals and life skills. She has titled her talk, "Little House on the Prairie Schooling". Sponsored by the local support group of homeschooling families, more information can be obtained by contacting Connie Dickey @ 865-992-3629

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Robert Bruce Kezer

R. Bruce Kezer-age 84 of Knoxville departed this world for heaven on February 15 from his home. His family was at his side. Born in Jersey City, NJ, on September 30, 1934 to Edwin and Ruth (Adams) Kezer, Bruce graduated from the University of Vermont in 1957. He then entered the US Army and served, in peacetime, for three years until being honorably discharged at the rank of Lieutenant. Bruce loved Jesus with all his heart, and worked to live instead of the other way around.

Thomas Michael McLaughlin

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Frances Jane Nichols

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