Alter G treadmill reduces body weight to help users with rehab

Published Date: July 23rd, 2012

July 23 2012

NovaCare Rehabilitation in the Thorn Run Crossing shopping mall and Summit Physical Therapy in McMurray have the only Alter G treadmills in the metro area. Developed for NASA to make it possible for astronauts to exercise in space, the Alter G is used on Earth to rehabilitate patients who've suffered serious lower body injuries or who've had knee or hip replacement surgery. It also can help the obese begin an exercise program and keep world-class athletes in tip-top shape.
The Alter G uses an inflatable chamber from the waist down to reduce body weight by as much as 80 percent. It's quick to set up, easy to use and safe.

"It can be used for patients with neurological disorders, because you can't fall," said Chris Zanke, NovaCare's regional vice president for Western Pennsylvania. Brenna Halbedl, 26, a kindergarten teacher in Oakdale, met with a road accident by which she was seriously injured and was not able to walk , but after working for 2 months on Alter G treadmill she can walk on it.
'I think this is awesome," Ms. Halbedl said.
Ms. Marconyak, who describes herself as "pleasingly plump," said she hadn't run "for 30 plus years," so she was astounded when she was told on her first day of therapy she would be running that day. And she was -- thanks to the Alter G.

The Alter G technology was developed in the late 1980s at NASA's Ames Research Center by Robert Whalen and Alan Hargens. They wanted to combat the loss of bone mass astronauts suffer when they are in space for long periods. They had to find a way to add weight to the astronauts so they could exercise in zero gravity conditions. To do that, they sucked the air out of the waist-high chamber. Today's Alter Gs reduce body weight by pumping air in.
The Alter G company, headquartered in Fremont, Calif., was founded in 2007. It has sold treadmills to rehabilitation centers, professional sports teams (but not the Steelers or the Pirates), college athletic departments (Penn State is a customer), military hospitals, the Naval Special Warfare Center, the U.S. Olympic Training Center, and a couple of health clubs in Manhattan.

Source- http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/alter-g-treadmill-reduces-body-weight-to-help-users-with-rehab-645809/
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