Anti-gravity treadmill helps patients heal faster
WELLESLEY, Mass. —A high-tech option professional sports teams, including the Patriots, have used for years is now helping more and…
WELLESLEY, Mass. —
A high-tech option professional sports teams, including the Patriots, have used for years is now helping more and more average patients heal faster.
Patients say using the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill is like walking on the moon. It uses NASA-patented air pressure technology. But Wellesley physical therapist Tim Fagerson admits he wasn’t so sure about the machine.
“I was skeptical for probably five years seeing it at PT shows until last year in Nashville. A guy talked me into getting on it and I was like, ‘Wow, wake up call,'” Fagerson said.
That wake up call turned into action earlier this year when Fagerson’s 14-year old son, Luke, had surgery in both knees to treat a rare disorder. The active teen wanted to get back on the soccer field fast.
Now five months into recovery, he demonstrated how the machine works. First, Luke steps into the skirted shorts and then onto the treadmill.
Next, he zips in to a balloon-like attachment and waits as the machine calibrates his body weight.
To start, he adjusts the machine’s unweighting technology to reduce his body weight by what feels like 50 percent. That decreases the impact on his joints, reducing pain and speeding up recovery. He can walk, run, even perform rehab exercises like one-legged calf raises.
“So often rehab, you’re balancing return to function with the risk of causing some kind of failure. I was able to get him going sooner and faster than we would have otherwise. Obviously being very careful, but this allows us to be very careful,” Fagerson said.
The caution appears to have paid off. Luke just got cleared by his surgeon to return to activity and sports, unrestricted.
Fagerson said a client could start using the anti-gravity treadmill a week or two after coming off crutches. That’s compared to six weeks with traditional therapies. While it’s primarily used for rehab, he does have patients also using it for weight loss and sports training.
Source: 4029 Northwest Arkansas News Anti-gravity treadmill helps patients heal faster