SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A local athlete is getting his time in on the treadmill in a unique way.
Instead of tennis shoes, he’s suiting up for an underwater run.
While playing football for the University of South Dakota Jack Schelhaas found himself in pain.
In an effort to alleviate it he began physical therapy using a treadmill– but not the type of treadmill he’s used to.
“It’s… it’s a little different than a regular treadmill,” Schelhaas said.
Instead of tennis shoes, Schellhaas is putting on his bathing suit for aquatic therapy.
Jay Eidsness, a physical therapist at the Avera Human Performance Center says being in the water results in less pressure on muscles and joints.
“I’ve found these to be more beneficial for my athletes, a little bit bigger area, I think we can work on running mechanics a little bit more underwater,” Eidsness said.
Schelhaas is using the above ground therapy pool today, but the facility also offers an underground therapy pool with a treadmill.
Eidsness says the main difference is the amount of weight that can be eliminated during your therapy.
While patients use the underground pool, physical therapists have the ability to see everything going on displayed right here on the screen.
“We were able to uncover some gait mechanic deficiencies that he had and we’ve been working on those in the pool and it’s been very beneficial,” Eidsness said.
He says Schelhaas’ pain was the result of improper running form, and the aquatic therapy is helping re-train him how to run correctly.
Both he and Schelhaas are excited about the progression.
“I’ve been running in these pools for about five to six weeks and steadily seeing improvement. Pain’s going away, and it’s been a process but it’s starting to see results,” Schelhaas said.
If you’re interested in learning more about aquatic therapy at Avera, click here.