It is the latest in high-tech treadmills. Developed by NASA, this anti-gravity walker is benefiting people right here on earth. Bring on the tired, torn and tattered patients who have tried and failed to get moving.
“I primarily treat a neurological population, so a lot of people that have trouble walking or a high fall risk,” says Brandie Redman.
Physical therapist Brandie Redman incorporates the Alter-G into her work within Lee Memorial Health System’s outpatient therapy.
“It’s nice to be able to get them into a situation where they can be upright, walking, working on their strength, their gait patterns, without having the risk of falling – and feeling comfortable. And no pain,” says Redman.
The obvious uses are for people with mobility issues or who may be recovering from surgery. But anti-gravity treadmills are taking training to new heights; both in rehabbing injuries are high-level training.
“If someone wants to, say you’re training for the 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon – they’re going to have to push themselves to be better than the last time they were and to do that, there’s a high chance of injury,” says Greg Ackley, who is a physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System.
A zippered harness works in two ways, making it impossible to fall down while creating an air-lock around the mid-section. The machine uses air pressure to reduce body weight.
“So I can jump on here and go like 80% and just take the load off my joints and everything, and I’m going to reduce injury by doing that,” says Ackley.
With less resistance, people feel like they’re moving weightlessly.
“I’ve been able to put a lot of different patients in it – from stroke patients to running patients. And everybody I’ve put in it has benefitted from it tremendously,” says Redman.
A small step in space age technology is making a giant leap for people in their rehab or training.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.