Anti Gravity Treadmill Helping Nursing Home Rehab Patients

Published Date: September 30th, 2014

Rehabilitation patients at Resthaven Nursing Home in Lake Charles are feeling like astronauts while recovering from injuries and surgeries on an anti-gravity treadmill. The treadmill uses NASA technology to help unweight patients for an out-of-this-world treatment

It has been a couple of months since John Laflame suffered a bad fall."I was in the bathroom taking a shower and I had kind of a big fall," he said.

Source (kearneyhub)

That fall left Laflame wheelchair bound.Now he is focused on one goal."The goal is to go into a walker and then after the walker I would like to walk on my own," he said.

Laflame's physical therapy is based on NASA technology that prepared astronauts for zero gravity conditions."They told me that it makes you weightless like an astronaut," he said,"and I said, 'okay, why don't I give it a try?'"

Physical therapy assistant Gino Lane with Lagniappe Rehabilitation says the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill is perfect for lightening the load for some of the most vulnerable patients in the aging population."Strokes,orthopedic problems, hips, knees, degenerations, the body just falling apart basically, and trying to recondition them," said Lane.

Lane explains how the AlterG works."We have patients put on a pair of leotard pants and they'll step into this circle and be zipped in and then we'll bring this up to their waist line," he said.

Then the sealed clear bubble is pumped full of air."Your body is in a balloon, so you're standing on top of the treadmill," said Lane,"it calculates what your weight is and then blows it up and recalculates it so you can change percentage of body weight from 100 percent body weight down to 30 percent of their body weight.

As the patient progresses, his or her weight can be added back on in the machine, preparing them to move safely and independently again."The biggest thing is that I'd like to see everybody walk just to go to the bathroom," said Lane, "they can keep their dignity and keep everything intact and go to the next step."

In just three weeks of using the anti-gravity treadmill, Laflame has moved from near weightlessness to 60 percent of his actual weight and walking close to a mile, with each step closer to his wheelchair-free goal."I feel that I'm steadier on my feet now," he said, "I think this machine has helped me the most."

The AlterG anti-gravity treadmill is also effective for patients recovering from surgery and for injury prevention during sport-specific conditioning

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