Antigravity Treadmill Helps Orlando Health Rehab Patients Recover Faster
Posted on July 23, 2012 by john
Patients are walking on air to recover from muscle sprains, broken bones, balance problems and other orthopedic and neurological conditions. The Orlando Health Rehabilitation Institute and the Orlando Health Rehabilitation Medicine Practice offers the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, as part of treatment plans for patients. The weight assisted treadmill training system reduces the impact of gravity as low as 20 percent of patients’ body weight, allowing patients to walk and run without pain – while feeling safe and supported.
“This system is cutting edge and is usually reserved for professional sports teams,” said Matthew Hixon, PT, CSCS, physical therapist, Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, Orlando Health Rehabilitation Institute. “Having the antigravity treadmill provides more treatment options for our patients.”
This is how it works: a patient steps inside the treadmill’s cockpit – similar to a bubble-like pouch, and is zipped sealed into the system. The antigravity treadmill’s technology system then weighs the patient and uses a formula to calculate how much air is needed to assist them. The sealed portion then fills with air based also on the therapist’s settings. From there, the workout to recovery begins.
The virtually weightless workout protects healing tissue, prevents muscle loss, encourages range of motion and improves motor control.
Patients are often excited and nervous to try the antigravity treadmill for the first time. “I tell them they can run or walk and it won’t hurt, but many times they are skeptical – almost like it’s too good to be true,” said Hixon. “After the first time, patients love it. They are so excited they want to stay on for five more minutes.”
Therapists at Orlando Health say the antigravity treadmill has become the most used piece of equipment in the rehab gym.
In the course of a day, the antigravity treadmill may be used to help a soccer player recover from a leg sprain, an 80-year-old learn to gain stability after hip replacement surgery, or a car crash survivor learn to walk again.
“Without the antigravity treadmill, we would not be able help patients progress more quickly and without pain,” said Hixon. “There is no substitute for it.”
Other treatment options take longer because more time is need for pain and discomfort to subside in order to progress with different physical activities. The antigravity treadmill alone offers a unique experience with positive outcomes.
See the Alter G Antigravity Treadmill in action: