Gravity does more than keep us from floating away. It is a defining factor in humankind’s growth and development as a species. But when you’re injured, a weightless environment can benefit range of motion exercises and overall physical recovery. At Inspire Physical & Hand Therapy, their AlterG anti-gravity treadmill gets you back on your feet…and you’ll barely even notice.
“AlterG allows the patient to run or walk with a decreased amount of weight bearing through the lower extremities while recovering from injury and maintaining a desired level of fitness and cardiovascular endurance,” explains Kristina Pittman, DPT, OCS, Inspire’s physical therapist and co-owner.
Their staff prescribes it for many lower body injuries like Achilles tendon rupture, ankle sprains, ACL tears, stress fractures, and painful hip or knee issues. The device looks like a standard treadmill but the patient’s lower half—and most of the machine—are encased by a puffy, inflated bubble.
AlterG treadmills provide “gentle unweighting from 100% to as low as 20% of body weight in precise 1% increments for low-impact, pain-free movement…Walk, run, and perform exercises that help you recover, maintain, and enhance your balance, strength, and mobility.”
They do this through the use of Differential Air Pressure, which “is a pressurized, variable lifting force using air to decrease the impact of gravitational forces and body weight during walking, running, or exercise [and is] comfortable and safe for most individuals, including those with stable cardiac, vascular, and respiratory disorders.”
Physical therapists monitor real-time data output and the machine’s design offers balance help so you can feel more secure. “The great thing about using the AlterG is it allows the patient to maintain proper form and gait mechanics while decreasing the stress through the lower extremities and avoiding or minimizing aggravation of any injury the patient may be recovering from,” says Pittman.
There are only two dozen clinics with AlterG treadmills statewide so don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience its benefit. “Each patient will receive their own personalized plan of care, and based on the patient’s goals the AlterG will likely be incorporated as part of their treatment,” says Pittman, “But in some situations where treatment for an injury is not needed, a person can still use the AlterG at a cash pay price.”
Inspire’s dedicated team supply post-operative care for orthopedic surgery including total joint replacement, ACL reconstruction, and rotator cuff repairs. They also help with ongoing pain in your neck, back, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Injured in a car or on-the-job accident or playing sports? Give them a call.
There’s not much we can do about gravity. (No, moon boots don’t count.) But technology like the AlterG means your body can move, stretch, strengthen, and heal without its constant pull. “Patients have commented they love that AlterG allows them to run or walk pain free during recovery from an injury or surgery,” says Pittman. “There is also a mental as well as physical component to recovery when using the AlterG. Most athletes struggle with the mental recovery because they cannot be as active or exercise during recovery. The AlterG allows them to get back to activities sooner, which also helps with their mental recovery as well.”
Inspire will work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that’ll have you back on your feet again. Although the AlterG is only located at the Lacey clinic, they also have offices in Tumwater with sister companies in nearby Yelm and DuPont.
At an initial visit, staff will discuss “Your medical history including medications, as well as pain intensity, what aggravates/eases the problem and how your injury is impacting your daily activities. A plan will be developed with you and your therapist that includes how many times you should see the therapist per week and home exercises you will need to complete.” This plan may involve the AlterG.
If you are recovering from surgery or an injury let Inspire Physical & Hand Therapy provide an AlterG alternative. Call our Lacey clinic at 360-491-1815 to make an appointment today.