AlterG offers accelerated sports rehab in safer conditions using NASA ‘anti-gravity’ technology.

Dion Harrison demonstrates the AlterG treadmill at the Triathlon Show last weekend

Dion Harrison, 2008 amateur long distance World Triathlon Champion, literally  ‘ran on air’ at the Triathlon Show, held over the weekend at Sandown Park in Esher, where he demonstrated ‘anti-gravity’ running on AlterG treadmill,  using technology originally developed by in the US NASA.

Harrison said: “I first used the AlterG treadmill at Balance Performance in London in 2009 to increase my speed on interval work. One session a week over a 10 week block brought my half marathon PB within a half Ironman down from 1:18 to 1:15.  In August 2011 I returned to use the Alter G as a rehabilitation tool for an achilles injury. The AlterG treadmill has been a crucial part of my rehab. It has enabled me to start running again which has been a hugely beneficial part of the rehab process.”

AlterG Europe have built up an unrivalled reputation in the sports, healthcare and medical markets, having sold anti-gravity treadmills into sixteen out of the twenty UK Premiership football clubs, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as clubs abroad Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and several leading Premiership rugby clubs. In the US anti-gravity treadmills are used by Olympic distance runners, US athletic programs for NFL, MLB and NBA teams, collegiate and University sports programs and at the US Olympic Training Centre.

Harrison added: “The effect of simply being able to run again and the endorphins it produces can’t be underestimated either. I started running at 60 per cent body weight & purely focused on pain free running. From there, we’ve built it up over 10 weeks to a point where I’m now running 120km a week at 87 per cent body weight and averaging 17kph.”

Andrew Caudell, General Manager for AlterG Europe, said: “We are very excited about introducing the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill to the UK. The AlterG is great for anyone who wants to reduce impact during exercise or have a smooth rehabilitation after surgery or injury, and is preferred and used by leading medical professionals and the world’s best athletes and teams.

“The AlterG treadmill enables injured athletes to run and walk without bearing their entire weight, reducing the impact on the body to optimize rehabilitation and physical therapy outcomes. Its Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology applies a lifting force to the body that reduces weight on the lower extremities and allows precise un-weighting, of up to 80 per cent of a person’s body weight, so people can find exactly where the pain stops and natural movement feels good again.”

Dr Lucy Goldby PhD MCSP, Co-Founder and Clinical Director at Balance Performance, one of AlterG‘s UK partners who have an AlterG treadmill for patient rehabilitation, said:  “For rehabilitation we used to work with elbow crutches and ask weight bearing, non-weight bearing? Partial or Egg-shell? Now we can say, 64 per cent weight bearing or 89 per cent  or 32 per cent or 34 per cent?  We can be totally bespoke to the difficult pathological fractures, non-unions, reconstructive surgery, the list is endless.  For some conditions the speed of rehabilitation has changed dramatically.  In Tendo Achilles repairs which necessitate immobilisation for a long period of time, the patients are immediately on their feet in a very supported and comfortable way.  A lot of the psychological fear of movement which accompanies lengthy immobilisation is eradicated by the support the machine gives.  The patient cannot fall or accidentally put too much weight on the limb.  The same is true for those with amputations and joint replacements.”

Patients can recover from injury and surgery and it allows them to immediately do partial weight bearing exercises. Patients with neurological disorders maintain, and in some cases even regain functionality and mobility working with the AlterG. Injured athletes can immediately experience what it would feel like to weigh less, and exercise with less joint impact and stress, and improve their cardiovascular health.

The Alter-G treadmill can be used for physical therapy, surgical recovery and elder healthcare and maintenance. Other UK customers include Health & Leisure Club operators, private hospital groups, military rehabilitation units, sport physiotherapists, personal trainers and sports coaches. Anti-gravity training enables faster rehabilitation in safer conditions.

TriRadar.com tested out the treadmill at the Triathlon Show and saw first hand its applications for injury recovery and prevention. Being lifted and supported by the patented shorts that keep the runner in place allows concentration to be placed on technique without fear of impact injury. While water-based rehab tools for running also ‘lower’ gravity, this comes at the cost of compromised running movement as the water encroaches upon control of the legs, a problem that doesn’t afflict the AlterG.

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