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Aquatic Therapy Impacts Athletes at the University of Montana

Athletic trainers from the University of Montana incorporate aquatic therapy in their program with the newly added AquaFit underwater treadmill system in order to provide the best care possible for their athletes. They use the AquaFit with a variety of athletes to help expand their ability to treat and prevent injuries.

Athletic trainers are working with a range of athletes recovering from ACL reconstruction surgery to athletes in cross training who experience joint pain or a history of meniscectomy. Aquatic therapy emphasizes cardiorespiratory fitness without the impact of training on a hard surface. Not only does this minimize discomfort and pain, but also facilitates joint preservation for long term joint health. One of the key benefits of using the AquaFit is the endless amount of exercises that can be performed.

With a speed range of 0.3 mph to 7.5 mph, exercise area of 22” x 64”, and the ability to submerge the athlete up to 48” in water, the AquaFit creates a safe and controlled environment to utilize the natural properties of water to achieve therapeutic benefits and progress a patient through a rehabilitation program. Using the principles of relative density, buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, and resistance, exercising in water reduces fatigue/pressure on joints, soothes aches, and helps with balance. Aquatic therapy diminishes muscle-guarding allowing muscles to relax and improve joint mobility and movement patterns. This in turn optimizes strength, power, and muscular endurance allowing athletes to recover from surgery or an injury quicker… getting them back in the game faster.

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