Taking the Plunge against Hemophilia
The following post has been adapted from the online article, ‘Keeping fit, staying well and changing lives’ by James Walsh from the Star Tribune
Two brothers, Jeff and Dan Kallberg have created a mission to help and change as many lives as possible. Jeff was born with hemophilia, a rare bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot normally (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute). Bleeding may last for an extended period of time after injury or a person may experience internal bleeding in the knees, ankles and elbows. Internal bleeding is very damaging to the organs and tissues and can cause long term damage.
This is all too familiar for Jeff Kallberg, who had repeatedly damaged his elbows and ankles, which leads to bleeding in the joints and ultimately, arthritis. After receiving a prescription for six physical therapy sessions, Jeff’s life had been changed forever, for the better. The physical therapy improved his life dramatically, which ultimately led to the opening of a pharmacy and physical therapy practice with his brother, Dan.
In 2004 the two Kallberg brothers ‘took the plunge’ and opened their first office in Bloomington, MN. Two years later, because of the success and growth of their practice, they added a HydroWorx pool at a new facility in Savage. Aquatic therapy has been proven very beneficial for hemophiliac patients, and Jeff Kallberg can be the first to testify to that.
From HEMAWARE, The Bleeding Disorders Magazine, Kristina R. Anderson discusses why swimming is a great option for people with hemophilia. “Water’s natural properties dramatically lower the risk of stress-related injuries. Working out in the water is a great way to build strength, agility and endurance without taxing your joints, muscles and bones.” In this article as well, Brenda Buzzard, superintendent physiotherapist at the Newcastle upon Tyne regional hemophilia center in the United Kingdom, known for her expertise of water therapy, added more on this topic. She states that for strengthening your joints as well as the muscles around them, swimming and aquatic fitness is one of the best options.
“The increased density of water creates even and fluid resistance, comfortably toning and strengthening the body with greater balance and efficiency,” she says. “The accommodating resistance of water allows patients to exercise at their own pace, while the refreshing nature of water provides a soothing distraction from pain and stress.”
Jeff and Dan’s practice, Coagulife, is the ultimate triple threat, combining physical therapy, health assessments and even a weight-loss program in to help treat people with hemophilia. They are not just looking to help individuals for the short-term, their goal is to help change and impact their lives forever.
To view videos of patients utilizing a HydroWorx therapy pool to treat hemophilia click here!