New hydrotherapy center in Larimer Athletic Complex will help promote health, recovery of student-athletes

February 22, 2019 | Athletics, News, Advancement
By Paul Helgren

The University of Toledo Athletic Department recently dedicated the Hotmer Family Hydrotherapy Center in the Larimer Athletic Complex.

Longtime UT athletics supporter Paul Hotmer made a substantial gift toward the completion of the center, which will help promote recovery time for Rocket student-athletes.

Paul Hotmer, back row fourth from right, was joined by members of his family, UT President Sharon L. Gaber, Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien, Football Coach Jason Candle, and UT staff members at a recent dedication of the Hotmer Family Hydrotherapy Center in the Larimer Athletic Complex.

“We are very grateful to Paul Hotmer and his family for their very generous gift to help us build the new hydrotherapy center,” said UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “Paul has been a tremendous supporter of Rocket athletics for many years. His contributions continue to have a very positive effect on the experience of our student-athletes.”

Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle added, “The Hotmer Hydrotherapy Center is a tremendous asset and a major step forward for the Toledo football program as we continue to strive to provide our student-athletes with a first-class experience during their time as a Rocket.

“The generosity of Paul Hotmer and his family will directly contribute to the health of our football players by shortening the necessary recovery time after practice and games. In order to sustain the high-level success that the Toledo fan base deserves, it takes the support of the entire Toledo community, and I am forever grateful to the Hotmer family for investing in the future of the Toledo football program.”

The Hotmer Family Hydrotherapy Center features two in-ground therapy pools that each contain 1,500 gallons of water. One is a combination therapy pool that can be used as either a hot pool or a cold pool. The second is used strictly as a cold pool. They are similar to the Hydroworx pools that were installed in the Sports Medicine Center in the Sullivan Athletic Complex when Savage Arena was renovated in 2008.

Cold plunge therapy is used to enhance muscle recovery by reducing metabolic rate, inflammation, circulation, muscle spasms and pain. With cold therapy, vasoconstriction also takes effect, narrowing the blood vessels and resulting in reduced swelling. In a polar plunge pool, the water is kept at a therapeutic 50 degrees to help control joint inflammation and to stimulate the release of endorphins. Science also shows that the cold water causes the release of cytokines and other body chemicals that help boost immunity.

Thermal plunge pool therapy heats muscle and tissue to increase circulation and restore blood flow to the body. The warmth of the water promotes a transient reduction in joint stiffness, pain and muscle spasms. It also can help to reduce inflammation. The typical temperature of a hot pool ranges from 94 to 104 degrees to relax tight muscles and stimulate the release of endorphins.

Also in the center is the Hydroworx 350 Underwater Treadmill. This is a sports model that is taller and longer than a standard unit. Water can be adjusted to attain depths ranging from one to 56 inches. It has a 750-gallon reservoir tank that filters and recycles water between uses. The treadmill utilizes water’s buoyancy, resistance and hydrostatic pressure to aid injured athletes back to functional activity.

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