The anti-gravity treadmill can take off up to 80% of your weight while you work out.
Dennison debuts anti-gravity treadmill
There’s a chance my father may get to walk again after all.
Well, let me elaborate. He can walk now with the assistance of two walking sticks, each have four-pronged claws on the bottom, but, it’s not like he’s using his legs to power himself. Rather, it’s his arms and the sticks which move the legs.
For decades (he is 80 years old and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 33 years ago), my father has swam to get his exercise. It’s the easiest sport for his joints, and he can wear flippers on his feet to compensate for the weakness in his legs.
But with Alter-G’s anti-gravity treadmill, my father just might have a few more walks in him.
When I got to Dennison’s Summit Physical Therapy office inside Snowcreek Athletic Club, he had me step into a pair of spandex shorts which are then zipped into a harness on the machine.
The machine then takes a reading of your standing weight.
You can then program what percentage of your standing weight you’d like to remove while working out.
The machine responds with a gentle air-wedgie that literally lifts your whole body.
The most liberal machine setting is walking at 20% of your body weight.
By contrast, the moon’s gravity field holds at 11% of body weight.
I found I could feel a real threshold point at about 32%. That’s when it felt virtually weightless.
For comparison, Dennison said chest-level water (as in a pool) is 25% weight-bearing – meaning you’re 75% supported.
The advantage of the anti-gravity treadmill is that unlike a pool, there is no wait time to start your physical therapy.
Typically, it takes three weeks post-operatively before incisions have healed enough to allow one to get into a pool. Even then, the weight-bearing component of your workout can’t be adjusted.
Whereas Dennison had one client on the treadmill in the early stages of a rehab program following ACL surgery running 7-8 miles per hour at a 35% weight-bearing level.
Another client who has hip issues and has been walking with a cane for three years was able to walk on the treadmill at a 20 to 25% level.
“It’s great balance training for the elderly and for those individuals who are fall risks,” said Dennison.
According to Dennison, “We now know that the brain begins to change itself within 30 minutes of an injury. The injury disrupts the normal balance of the body’s function. An injury or surgery to the lower leg will basically alter the normal function of the body region in the early stages of the recovery. An individual will more than likely develop maladaptive habits with activities like walking. This is where the Alter-G can be a significant help in your rehabilitation.
Anything you can do to encourage the body to function in as normal a fashion as it can will only optimize your recovery and improve your outcomes.”
For more information, contact Dennison at 760.709.6161.