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AlterG Treadmill Allows Non-Painful Weight Bearing Rehab

May 1, 2012

alterGGuest Blog by Physical Therapist, Ryan Smith.

The AlterG is an exciting new rehabilitation tool that uses differential air pressure technology to allow an individual to stand, walk, and run at reduced body weight. Body weight can be controlled in 1% increments from full body weight down to 20%. Within the machine lies a treadmill similar to what you would see in a health club or fitness facility.

The advantage is it allows earlier return to weight bearing, walking, and running. Pain and force through a joint is reduced using the machine. The AlterG is speeding up and improving outcomes after surgery. College and professional athletes are using the AlterG to prolong careers, improve speed, and heal from various lower extremity ailments. During Super Bowl week numerous machines were taken to Indianapolis for the Giants and Patriots to use, and many sports organizations are purchasing them to use within their training facilities.

After injury, this technology allows for a normal walking pattern controlling for speed, elevation, and joint loading. Some common surgeries where the AlterG has been beneficial include:

  • Joint replacement
  • Arthroscopy/debridement
  • Ligament repair
  • Microfracture surgery

It has also been beneficial for overuse injuries, ligament sprains, and contusions. Watching patients progress while using the AlterG has been exciting and I invite you to stop by Apple Valley anytime to see it for yourself.

“I like the AlterG because it gives my patients a way of non-painful, controlled weight bearing early in the recovery period,” says Minnesota orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lance Silverman. “Studies show that an earlier return to activity prevents atrophy of supporting muscles, decreases swelling, and improves outcomes. AlterG will become the standard of care in rehabilitation. The bottom-line, the Alter G helps patients recover faster and return to all their activities. I can’t ask for much more.”

 

About the Author

Ryan Smith PT, DPT is the site coordinator of Sister Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy in Apple Valley, Minnesota

 

Related Sources:

AlterG.com

Allina.com

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4 Comments
  1. This has got to be the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long while. What great potential to stay in shape while recovering. I remember one Doctor telling me jokingly that he’d rather treat heroine addicts than runners. His rationale was that you could give the Heroine addicts methadone and they’d stop, but for runners there was nothing. With the AlterG, maybe they can run and recover.

    • Thanks for the great comments Tom. You’re right, there’s not much you can do to stop runners!

  2. Amanda Jenkins permalink

    I think the Alter-G is a wonderful benefit for runners! I have tried it myself, but I noticed that when the machine supports a higher percentage of your weight it changes the stride of a runner. This decrease of weight on the person changes their stride from normal to over-striding. Once they are on the ground running again they continue to over-stride because that’s what they have now taught their body to do and this can lead to other problems down the road. Do you have any suggestions to curb the tendency of a user to pick up the habit of over-striding?

    • anklefootmd permalink

      Amanda, I actually believe the alter-G changes the stride to encourage a barefoot running stride with a slow cadence. Perhaps an overstride occurs if you try to land on your heel. As a proponent of midfoot strike, it is much more difficult to faulty overstride with this landing style.

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