Making a splash!

HydroWorx International offers the finest in aqua therapy equipment. Over 130 universities and pro sports teams use their products to get their athletes healthy quicker after an injury. Ole Miss recently had installed three "pools" that are sure to get Rebs back on the field of play quicker.

When Dr. Paul Hetrick was a child of 11, he sustained a head injury that confined him to a wheelchair for nine months. Aquatic therapy was one of the methods used to help him get his movement back. From that point on, Hetrick - a chiropractor - spent much of his professional life designing hydrotherapy equipment.

"In the infancy of his idea, Paul hooked up with a horse trainer and they developed a prototype for therapy pools," said HyrdroWorx Co-Founder Anson Flake, who was on the Ole Miss campus recently to make sure his products were working properly. "I met Paul and felt there was a need for these types of rehab and conditioning products. We formed a company and started manufacturing and selling his design."

Dr. Hetrick's product has swept the sports world for several reasons, Flake said.

"Our products rapidly accelerate the rehab process. With the interest and money and passion involved in sports these days, teams cannot afford players to be sitting on the shelf, so to speak, any longer than absolutely necessary," Flake noted. "We have our units all over the country now. Our biggest market is the hospital market. We also have a home market. But our most visible market, without a doubt, is the sports market."

Hot/cold pools

The list of organizations on the HydroWorx resume is impressive. The New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, the Nike Elite Running Program, the Navy Seals and on and on use HydroWorx.

"We went from 0 to 80 pools in six years. This year alone we will sell at least 80 units of varying style, price and use," said Flake.

The Rebs have three pools. One is the 2000 series, which is the best HydroWorx offers. The other two look like large spas and are for hot/cold therapy.

The 2000 series pool is roughly 9 feet wide and 13 feet long, with an 8-foot X 12 foot adjustable treadmill, underwater cameras and resistance jets. The treadmill can be adjusted to up to six feet deep.

The cost of the 2000 series was roughly $210,000. The hot/cold pools were roughly $35,000 each and are capable of water temperatures from 50 degrees to 110 degrees.

"When someone has something like knee surgery, it usually takes time to get them back on their feet. Doctors want them up and going as quickly as possible to get their range of motion back and so scar tissue will form properly," explained Flake. "With our machine, you can do that almost immediately. You put the person on the treadmill (there are hand rails to hold on to), adjust the water depth to make them almost weightless, adjust the treadmill speed and start going. The jets offer resistance and the underwater cameras allow trainers and doctors to see that steps, etc., are being taken properly. The beauty of the 2000 series is that the treadmill is big enough to allow athletes to do shuffles, crossovers, backpedals, every movement that they use on the field.

"Troy Vincent of the Eagles sprained his knee on a Thursday. He began immediate rehab in one of our pools and played in Sunday's game. Their trainers and doctors told us he definitely would not have played that game had it not been for our pool. Injured athletes also get out of shape. This pool not only allows them to rehab, it allows them to condition while they are rehabbing so they are ready to go as soon as rehab is complete."

We were all told the IPF would have the latest equipment. Here's one example of that "promise" holding true in the Rebs' new training room.

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