When training astronauts for life in zero-gravity environments, NASA realized they had to create a system that could mimic gravity so the astronauts’ bones and muscles wouldn’t atrophy and degenerate in space. One result was a treadmill that uses differential air-pressure (DAP) technology to add weight to the astronauts’ bodies.
Adding weight through DAP mimics the effect of gravity while astronauts work out in gravity-free space. That same concept can be reversed to reduce the effects of gravity on our own planet.
A company called AlterG® licensed NASA’s technology in 2015 and developed an anti-gravity treadmill. Training and rehab on the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill™ allow women and men to rehabilitate injured or compromised legs and feet without pain.
At One Accord Physical Therapy, we offer the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill for both rehabilitation and performance optimization. Our team of physical therapists and massage therapists at our locations in Casa Grande, Gilbert, Mesa, and Phoenix, Arizona, let you know if AlterG is right for you. Here’s why an Anti-Gravity Treadmill™ may be the solution you need.
AlterG takes the weight off … literally
When you’re in pain, the weight of your body can be too intense for your injured body part to bear. Similarly, if you’re overweight or obese, you may find it difficult or even impossible to walk or run at a sufficient speed to confer cardiovascular benefits without harming your joints.
The AlterG allows you to reduce your body weight from 100% to 20%, in 1% increments. No other exercise or rehab equipment can accomplish that feat.
You step into a harness on the treadmill. The AlterG’s patented DAP technology features a special air chamber that surrounds the harness, as well as an advanced calibration system that uniformly reduces gravitational loads.
As the air chamber fills, it decreases the forces of gravity on your body. The AlterG literally “unweights” you.
Instead of weighing 200 pounds, for instance, you can use the Anti-Gravity Treadmill to weigh only 40 pounds. That’s a huge load off your feet! The machine also reduces ground reaction force (GRF) for walking and running in direct proportion to the amount of unweighting.
AlterG allows you to exercise and move as you heal
One of the most frustrating aspects of healing from an athletic injury is that you can’t work out at your normal rate, and thus lose your hard-won conditioning. With the AlterG, you can keep your muscles strong with intense, nearly weightless workouts, even as you continue to heal your injury.
AlterG prevents falls
Older women and men are at an increased risk for serious injuries or early death due to balance issues and falls. If you feel unsteady on your feet, you may avoid walking, which can lead to an increased risk for other conditions, including cardiovascular disease and dementia.
The Anti-Gravity Treadmill lets you build up the muscles you need to walk safely, without putting you at risk in the meantime. The treadmill also helps you improve your gait kinetics, so you move in a healthier, more balanced way when you’re off the machine.
AlterG improves gait in neurological conditions
If you have Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, or suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), your brain may have forgotten, or never learned, how to walk efficiently and safely. Because the AlterG supports you in a harness seat while you walk or run on the treadmill, you can train your body to move in ways that you haven’t been able to move in the real world.
The Anti-Gravity Treadmill is so safe, you can do gait-training for extended periods of time without risk of falls or injuries. As your gait improves on the treadmill, you develop the strength and the neurological patterns you need to walk safely in the world, too.
AlterG optimizes athletic performance
If you’re an athlete, you can also use AlterG to enhance your conditioning so you reach your goals faster and smarter. Olympic training centers, sports science facilities, and professional sports teams around the world already utilize AlterG’s DAP technology to train their athletes.
You can push yourself harder in the AlterG than you could at full weight. Real-time gait data and video monitoring give you the visual feedback you need to monitor your progress and achieve your goals.
Training on the AlterG allows you to increase the intensity of your workouts by up to 25% without fear of injury. And, of course, if you’re injured in a game, the AlterG helps you get back in play sooner and safer than you ever thought possible.
Don’t sit this one out. Book a training or rehabilitation session with AlterG’s Anti-Gravity Treadmill today by calling the One Accord Physical Therapy office that’s most conveniently located for you.