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Underwater Treadmill

The underwater treadmill is a highly specialised rehabilitation tool, similar to the hydrotherapy pool and provides a low weight bearing environment, which can be altered by the hydrotherapist. The concussive forces created through moving on the treadmill belt alongside the resistance of the water makes this a very useful rehabilitation tool, that is more comfortable than land-based exercises due to the water properties reducing the pressure on the joints whilst increasing muscle mass and strength.

The underwater treadmill provides a more controlled environment in which the canine hydrotherapist (or feline!) can alter the speed, duration, incline, and water level to target different areas. When implemented into a rehabilitation programme, this is chosen to build and increase muscle mass, encourage gait re-education and proprioception. This is often used in cases such as soft tissue injuries, neurological conditions, and post-surgery to promote early muscle building and gait re-education.

 

Treadmill:

  • There are many reasons why we use the underwater treadmill. It is a weight bearing form of hydrotherapy and accurately simulates walking on land. The use of water within the treadmill provides buoyancy and support just like the pool allowing the limbs to move with less force going through them. This is a crucial component when recovering from surgeries or unstable injuries.

  • Just like the pool the water is heated. The water level within the treadmill can be adjusted to suit the condition and capabilities of your pet at any time. The speed of the treadmill belt can also be adjusted based on the size of your animal, the way they move, and the condition being treated. A much slower speed allows for fuller weight bearing, extension and flexion going through each limb in a deliberately controlled manner. This is important particularly in early stages of recovery. Speed can then be increased in conjunction with the adjustment of water levels as they progress through their recovery period. Each patient has an individual plan to suit their condition and expected long term outcome.

  • As with the pool, the treadmill is also a great way to improve and maintain the high fitness levels of the working dog. Muscle tone and strength is vital when it comes to working or competing. All of these elements can be maintained and improved upon with the skills of an experienced therapist working together with you and your dog.

Our treadmill:

  • Our treadmill has 360 degree viewing potential to allow for thorough evaluation of the way a patient is moving.

  • An extended belt allows for more space for larger breeds and canine athletes that may have longer strides.

  • The belt direction is reversible and we have the option of inclining the belt, this gives us so much more variability to allow for even more specific rehabilitation and conditioning plans for our patients.

  • Touch screen controls mounted on the chamber, allow our therapist to be in the treadmill with the patient and still have complete control of the session.

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