Following any major injury or surgery usually requires a few weeks of intense rehab. But how do you make sure patients stick with the program? Avera Queen of Peace is helping patients succeed by expanding both their facilities and level of care.
"It just alleviates all the pain and that's the main thing and being able to do it and actually enjoy it without the pain." Said Reed Bender.
For the past six months Reed has been 'splashing' his body back into shape. Three years ago, Reed was in a car accident leaving him with whiplash, a herniated disc, and constant pain.
"It was always hard to work out because it always hurt and the pain never left." Said Bender.
Doctors initially prescribed pain pills and cortisone injections; nothing worked. Then Reed got in the pool.
"Once I started working in the pool it was perfect! I mean we work mostly the core which just kind of helped everything it was just great!" Said Bender.
Physical therapist Scott Houwman says working out in the water allows big guys like Reed to work their bodies hard but in a much safer environment.
"The water mimics what we really need to do functionally but when you put them in the pool he's able to go through full ranges of motion that he couldn't do with gravity or on land and really aggressively hit those muscles hard." Said Houwman.
Avera Queen of Peace acquired University Physical Therapy in July and is in the process of relocating their outpatient rehab programs away from the hospital. The extra space and accessibility is also an added bonus.
"We are definitely excited to have this to enhance our orthopedics and sports medicine program. You go to the hospital and you think sick people whereas an outpatient center you're thinking more of rehabilitation and wellness." Said Will Flett, the Vice President and CFO of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital.
Just watching Reed in his element you can see it clearly, this is far from your everyday trip to the pool.
"Resistance training, I've got some goofy looking shoes I put on and then some weights to just do some butterflies and chest exercises and running against the water." Said Bender.
While the water therapy was originally for his neck and back, Reed is seeing other aches start to disappear.
"Just the no pain and I've kind of got some bad joints too maybe even some arthritis and stuff in my hands and elbows but it just doesn't hurt in the pool!" Said Bender.
And having the facility off the hospital campus allows Reed to get his workouts in on his schedule with the goal of eventually getting him back on dry land.
"What we try to do is to teach people how to come up with solutions to improve the rest of their life instead of having to come back all the time I think for him he's just found living in South Dakota that he just likes this pool!" Said Houwman.
While it may look like he's just splashing around, with every crashing wave, Reed's restoring his strength and starting to feel like his not-so-old self once again.
"I've been doing about six months now on and off, mostly on but the last month I've been slacking with work and everything getting busy and I can feel the pain coming back but as long as I keep working in the pool the pain is gone." Said Bender.
With the acquisition of University Physical Therapy the hospital will focus it's rehab program toward inpatient care with the off campus facility handling the outpatient care. For more information about rehab programs just call 877-AT-AVERA.