Introducing the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill ©
It sounds like something you would use in space right? Well, maybe! But the great news is that we now have one in our clinic as well.
When we run, our leg foot lands with a force of approximately 2.3 times our body weight (Farina et al, 2016) going through it into our knee. So for a 70kg person, there is about 161kg of force going through our leg whenever we put our foot down. Normally our bodies cope well with this, in fact they are designed to! However, when injury strikes, our legs can’t take this force anymore as it either causes us more pain or makes our injury worse. Before you know it, you have spent weeks or months out of training, you have lost overall fitness and health, you are losing strength and you are getting stiff from spending more time on your bum. What’s the solution?
Of course you need to get your injury assessed and treated by a physiotherapist. However, at Aevum Physiotherapy we are now able to in-corporate the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill © as part of your rehabilitation program to get you back on your feet faster!
The effect of the AlterG as a valuable part of rehabilitation of many conditions and injuries has been backed up by research published in clinical journals. These injuries and conditions include post Achilles tendon repair (Saxena et al, 2011), pelvic stress fracture (Tenforde et al, 2012), post knee surgery for anterior cruciate ligament or meniscus repair (Eastlack et al, 2004), post surgery for ankle and lower limb fractures (Takacs et al, 2010) and in the management of knee osteoarthritis (Peeler et al, 2015; Tackacks et al, 2013) and.
The AlterG uses a waist high chamber (Takacs et al 2013) around a treadmill, which fills with positive pressure air. When you set your self up on the treadmill, with your lower body in the chamber, the positive pressure acts to push you up at the hips (Takacs et al, 2013), which reduces the amount of weight you put through each leg when you walk or run on the treadmill. Put simply, you reduce the impact while you are running. The chamber can be set to reduce your body weight by a lot or a little, whatever is the right thing for you at the time. If you have an injury, this means you can keep running but with reduced impact so that your pain is minimised, your rehabilitation can continue safely and you can return to your sport faster.
So, why do we think the AlterG is worth it? The AlterG has many benefits for rehabilitation, which include allowing you to;
run pain-free by reducing the impact on your lower body
maintain your fitness and health, whilst rehabilitating your injury
train at the same level of intensity you normally would by adjusting speed settings
vary your training as with a normal treadmill; continuous, interval, hills etc
gradually increase the impact of your running until you can run over-ground pain free again
On top of these benefits, the AlterG is not only for athletes and is not only for people with an injury. We believe the AlterG is for everyone. If you are someone who is ‘injury-prone’ and are looking to get into running for the first time, or are looking to increase the amount of running you do, working alongside us and using the AlterG could help you to carefully and gradually improve your tolerance of running impact, helping you prevent injury whilst achieving your goals. The AlterG is also a great tool to help people with mobility issues caused by ageing or neurological conditions to maintain and improve their mobility, helping them to increase their independence and reduce the burden of care. There is more blog content about using the AlterG in these situations coming soon!
So, as you can see, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill © has many benefits that can help you get back to where you were before your injury or help you to prevent an injury in the first place. We are lucky to have this piece of cutting edge technology in our clinic so please, give us a call and ask us how the AlterG could work for you today!
Written by: Sean Hails