Hydrotherapy for Twins’ Catcher Mauer
Minnesota Twins Catcher, Joe Mauer, who was the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player, has been rehabilitating himself using one of the oldest forms of therapy – hydrotherapy. The catcher is dealing with a bilateral leg weakness, which has forced him to miss some games this year.
Hydrotherapy is a huge topic, one that covers hydration, colon hydrotherapy, hot-cold water perfusion, whirlpools and many others. Mauer is utilizing an active form of hydrotherapy, by exercising his legs in water. Because water will reduce body weight by as much as 80-90% through buoyancy, the weight reduction causes less strain on joints and muscles that need strengthening.
For this reason, water aerobics has caught on in a big way among the elderly, and is becoming the rage for physical therapists and the injured who want to get back in the game sooner. In water aerobics, the person twists, kicks, treads and even jumps in the water. The weight load is lightened, allowing a person to work their muscles and get a great cardiovascular workout without the impact.
Joe Mauer has apparently found one of the newest forms of hydrotherapy: the aquatic treadmill. The aquatic treadmill sits in the water in the shallow end of the pool, where the person can water or run as fast as they can on it. It is quite amazing, because the combination of the treadmill and buoyancy allows for a full stride run. And because of the added resistance provided by the water, the hamstrings and gluts work harder to push against the water using the underwater treadmill.
The newest rage for home hydrotherapy fans is the swim spa. These self-contained mini-pools are a low-cost option to putting in your own pool, and they double as whirlpools.
Walking in a cold stream or in the shallow ocean at the beach have also been used as hydrotherapy for sore joints.
More descriptions for the myriad of other forms of hydrotherapy can be found here.