What if you could run without pain – and burn more calories by running faster and longer? That’s the power of the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, which Acucare Physical Therapy offers as part of our comprehensive orthopedic therapy services in Sioux Falls, SD.
What Is the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill?
The AlterG is far more technologically advanced than the run-of-the-mill treadmill you would find at a gym. It utilizes Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which was developed by NASA so astronauts can exercise under familiar conditions aboard space stations.
DAP technology simulates added weight when it is used in a zero-gravity environment. That allows astronauts to take their daily exercise without having to use straps that would impede their natural gaits.
But DAP technology works both ways. Here on Earth it is used to lessen the weight a runner bears on their legs – enabling them to train while placing significantly reduced overall stress on their bodies.
The AlterG looks much simpler than its space-age technology suggests. In addition to an otherwise normal treadmill, the system includes a pressurized air chamber which sits waist-high on the user. This air chamber is controlled by a computer, and is adjustable to reduce the user’s weight in one percent increments. At its maximum setting, the air chamber effectively reduces its user’s weight by up to 80 percent.
Who Can Benefit From AlterG Therapy?
The AlterG is currently in use at over 4,000 facilities worldwide, and has already helped millions to exercise, train, and recover from injury. This is to say that everyone – from elite athletes to injured seniors – can benefit from AlterG therapy!
Patients can use the AlterG to expedite recovery from orthopedic surgery or injury and manage a neurological condition, chronic disease, or obesity. Unlike hydrotherapy or harness-assisted movement, the AlterG allows patients to walk and run exactly as they normally would.
Athletes can use the AlterG to minimize downtime following an injury, even after they have recently received surgery. Even athletes in peak physical condition appreciate a treadmill which minimizes the risk of stress-related injury, and they all love the real-time gait data provided by the AlterG. Athletes may seek AlterG therapy for a wide range of applications, including:
- Post-injury rehab
- Post-fracture rehab
- ACL reconstruction
- Post-operative rehab
- Achilles reconstruction
- Meniscectomies and meniscus repair
Seniors and AlterG Therapy
Seniors can also use the AlterG to accelerate recovery from injuries without needlessly placing stress on their joints, spines and soft tissues. Seniors who are at greater risk of falling especially benefit from the AlterG’s ability to keep them upright. The system is even suitable for seniors who only need safe practice standing. Seniors may seek AlterG therapy for:
- Stroke recovery
- Performance aging
- Post-fracture rehab
- Microfracture rehab
- Post-injury recovery
- Post-operative rehab
- Strength and endurance training
- Hip and knee replacement recovery
Is AlterG Therapy Effective?
Yes – demonstrably. Independent clinical trials have shown that AlterG therapy:
- Significantly reduces ground reaction forces at all levels of weight support
- Preserves natural gait mechanics at all speeds and levels of weight support
- Does not significantly increase heart rate and blood pressure while in use
- Makes exercise more accessible to those who are not accustomed to cardio
- Makes exercise more accessible to those with lower extremity pain
- Reduces the risk of falling while improving balance, mobility and lower extremity strength
- Reduces pain associated with exercise following an injury or surgery
- Effectively mitigates pain experienced during exercise for those living with osteoporosis
- Reduces the risk of injury during overspeed and high-intensity interval training
- Improves gait in those living with Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other neurologic conditions
- Accelerates recovery from athletic injuries
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of AlterG therapy and decide whether it’s right for you, then we welcome you to schedule a consultation at Acucare Physical Therapy in Sioux Falls, SD today. You may not be an astronaut, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to exercise like one!