Anti-gravity treadmill promotes healing with weightlessness

By protecting weaker tissue, technology helps all ages and experience levels

anti-gravity treadmill: therapist coaches patient ethnic diversity

Sanford POWER and several Good Samaritan Society locations are using a new anti-gravity treadmill in their rehabilitation programs. The AlterG helps patients regain balance and strength following illness, injury or surgery, and boosts performance for athletes.

The AlterG design is based on technology developed by NASA. It applies a uniform lifting force, resulting in a feeling of reduced body weight and comfortable support. Users walk and run normally while eliminating pain and protecting healing tissue.

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Exercise is key to maintaining wellness and optimizing recovery in older adults. But it’s also valuable to athletes training in Sanford POWER facilities in Sioux Falls, Fargo and Bismarck. Athletes using the machine have the option to select between 20% and 100% of their full body weight. Lessened gravitational forces allow people of all ages and experiences to:

  • Train without pain and reduce stress to joints and muscles
  • Rehabilitate lower extremity injuries with less pain and less impact
  • Maintain fitness while rehabilitating from injury or surgery
  • Lose weight safely and exercise more intensively
  • Push training sessions further and longer with less risk of injury
  • Recover effectively and with less pain after training or competition

Gwen Martin, a rehab therapy patient at the Good Samaritan Society, calls the technology “thrilling.”

“It’s exhilarating seeing my legs move, because when I’m laying down or in my wheelchair I can’t move my legs,” Gwen said. “I feel like I’m on the top of a mountain! It really motivates me to keep going.”

Anti-gravity treadmill helps all ages

In applications for both training and physical therapy rehabilitation, the AlterG helps a broad spectrum of people — top athletes, orthopedic and neurologic patients, pediatric, geriatric, and those looking to lose weight.

Kathy Stompro, an athletic trainer with Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, referred a teenage track athlete with tibial stress syndrome to Sanford POWER to train on the treadmill.

“The AlterG provided a more real-life training experience,” Stompro said. “We generally do a pool or bike workout to maintain cardio, but the treadmill allowed the athlete to actually run without pain.”

The treadmill is being used by sports professionals all over the world. They include football, basketball and baseball players. Top runners find it beneficial for overspeed training to enhance race times. In addition, AlterG was used on The Biggest Loser TV show.

Incorporating the AlterG into a training program or injury rehab helps participants build confidence. Athletes using it are more likely to prolong their careers with less impact on the body, maintain cardiovascular fitness, run longer and recover faster with less pain.

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Posted In Rehabilitation & Therapy, Sports Medicine

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