BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Bethune-Cookman University is looking to add hydrotherapy to its athletic program.
The school is raising $50,000 to bring in hydrotherapy equipment to help treat and rehabilitate injured student athletes.
The equipment will be housed in a designated room inside the new Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center.
“Hydrotherapy is part of the treatment and rehabilitation phase. What we have found is that talking with doctors, athletic trainers, student athletes, and coaches that we knew we needed this feature,” said Lynn Thompson, B-CU’s athletic director.
The equipment will consist of a pool and other exercise equipment, including an underwater treadmill.
Proven medical treatment
Hydrotherapy is a proven method that helps athletes recover from injuries.
“Science shows that water helps relieve weight and pressure on injuries. It works against pressure and resistance. Water relieves pressure on joints and muscles. You can also run on treadmills in water too to help rehab,’’ Thompson explained.
Hydrotherapy, formerly called hydropathy, is a part occupational therapy and physiotherapy that involves water for pain relief and treatment.
Various therapies used in the present-day hydrotherapy employ water jets, underwater massage and mineral baths and/or whirlpool bath, hot Roman bath, hot tub, Jacuzzi, cold plunge and mineral bath.
The practice of hydrotherapy can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Roman civilizations.
Hydrotherapy can be used with both warm and cold water.
There are schools across the nation that have hydrotherapy treatment capabilities and others offer it or teach it in degree programs.
Having hydrotherapy capability will give a much-needed boost to B-CU’s athletic program.
It also will give the school scheduling, convenience, financial and other advantages for both the school and its student athletes.
“This will provide us with a significant advantage and the benefits will be invaluable. We won’t have to uproot student athletes and depend upon other people’s facilities, which can also save us money. We can schedule the use of it in a great manner. It will be on campus, which will really help a student athlete’s schedule both academically and athletically,” responded Thompson.
The amount of money being raised to get the equipment is ideal.
“We knew that this was the amount needed to be raised to make this happen. Many hydrotherapy pools cost more. What we get has to be tailor-made to fit the design plans,” added Thompson.
Funds already are coming in to help the school reach the goal.
Thompson answered, “We have raised a significant amount of the funds. Many have rallied around the pitch made by our Board of Trustees (member) Dr. Larry Handfield. He took the lead and initiative on this matter.”
Opening, then game
The Larry Handfield Athletic facility is located on the corner of International Speedway Boulevard and Lincoln Street on the campus of B-CU and is set to open Sept. 21.
A ceremony and festivities will occur during the weekend of the Hall of Fame football game between the Wildcats and the Tennessee State University Tigers at Municipal Stadium the following day.
The athletic facility also will be equipped with a state-of-the-art weight room, sports medicine treatment, observation and rehabilitation rooms with X-ray capability.
It will house several of the school’s athletic programs, including football and softball.