Thursday, February 11, 2010

Revolutionizing Rehab

Running can be brutal on muscles and joints. That's all changing thanks to the Alter-G M300-series treadmill. The special training treadmill has a sealed enclosure around the runners waist that uses upward air pressure to support the body for surreal anti-gravity workouts. The pressurized environment can take away up to 80% of the user's body weight, helping to reduce pounding on the joints.

The trainer was originally conceived for use by NASA for astronauts during space flight. Robert Whalen, head of the Musuloskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory in the Gravitational Research Branch at Ames Research Center, along with colleague Dr. Alan Hargens proposed the idea of using a special treadmill to add weight to an astronaut's body during low gravity exercise in space. Thankfully the opposite effect takes place on earth.

Athletes conditioning and speed training for the Olympics have been able to record sub world record times thanks to the leg-up provided by high-tech training machine. They say it's like running on air. The machine allows athletes to overcome chronic pain, push through injuries and best of all, helps runners regain their confidence in running again.

Professional sports teams like the Oakland Raiders and Miami Heat have used the Alter-G G-Trainer to fast track the recovery process from game-day battle bruises. Now they're being joined by the common man thanks to a huge price drop in equipment. The new Alter-G M300 treadmill has a starting price of $24,500. The a big drop from the original $75K Alter-G P200 treadmill used by the pros.

Two years ago the FDA approved it for medical applications. The M320 Anti-Gravity Treadmill is sure to become the standard in rehabilitation and training across the industry. Current uses of the trend-setting treadmill include:
  • Aerobic conditioning
  • Weight control, gait training for neurological patients
  • Rehabilitation after total joint replacement
  • Rehabilitation following injury or surgery of the lower extremity (hip, knee, ankle or foot)
  • Strengthening of elderly patients
  • Help amputee veterans learn to walk with prosthetics
  • Aid in relearning balance caused from traumatic brain injury
You're going to see more and more of these units in colleges, health-care rehabilitation units, nursing homes, and even leased-units in garages of high school athletes. The term "revolutionary" is often and freely used in relation to this training tool ... in this instance, it is wholly appropriate.