Have you ever heard of anti gravity treadmill physical therapy? It sounds a bit like a science fiction practice, but it is a real and effective form of PT. Essentially, the machine allows people to run on a treadmill at a percentage of their body weight, meaning weight is taken off the joints.
The machine uses air pressure to take pressure off the patient through unloading and progressive loading. To look at the machine, it looks like a treadmill wrapped in a rectangular balloon, which it is, kind of. The main questions are why would someone use the device, and how does it help?
1. Regain Mobility and Flexibility
When someone injures their leg, foot, knee, hip, etc., they tend to favor the non-injured leg. By favoring one leg over the other, the individual can change how they walk, potentially leading to more injuries or prolonging an existing injury. Also, favoring one part of the body does not help heal the injured area correctly.
An anti-gravity treadmill allows patients to use the injured body part as they usually would but without the added pressure of 100% of their body weight. By supporting some of the person’s body, the patient can work the injury, helping it to heal correctly, regaining mobility and flexibility.
2. Return To Normal Life Sooner
While a patient can use standard approaches to physical therapy near me, anti-gravity PT is more beneficial. Over and over again, patients opting for anti-gravity treadmill therapy prove that faster and safer recoveries are possible.
Someone using an anti-gravity treadmill is fully supported. The risk of further injury from falling is eliminated on the device, allowing patients to concentrate on body movement and positioning. By working a body part the way you would typically use it, you can improve recovery time, allowing you to return to a normal life sooner.
3. Preserve Normal Muscle Movement
Also, by moving your legs as usual, you preserve normal muscle movement. Other exercises, including PT in the pool, require the engagement of different muscles and actions, which can lengthen recovery time. The treadmill places patients in a normal environment or activity, only with the support they need to avoid favoring a limb.
4. Train Longer
Finally, an anti-gravity treadmill allows for longer training sessions because the patient isn’t catering to an injury. By supporting a percentage of a patient’s body weight, the machine allows them to use an injured limb longer because there is not as much pressure or strain on the injury site.
If you have an injury, you should consult a doctor about the right approach to healing. If physical therapy is recommended or offered, find the best physical therapist in your area. Talk to them about anti-gravity therapy and whether it is an option for your injury.
While relatively new, anti-gravity treadmills show great promise for PT. Talk to a PT specialist if you are experiencing any pain or injuries in your lower body, including the knees, feet, hips, or legs, in general.