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12:39 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

YRMC's new anti-gravity treadmill boosts effectiveness while reducing injury risks

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Whether you're recovering from orthopedic surgery, undergoing therapy to reduce the side effects of Parkinson's disease or preparing to run a marathon, Yavapai Regional Medical Center's AlterG anti-gravity treadmill can help.

The AlterG rehabilitation treadmill incorporates technology that was developed by NASA to help astronauts compensate for the effects of weightlessness in space.

In the medical setting, the AlterG has become a major part of rehabilitation for a variety of conditions. The quad-city area's only AlterG was introduced recently at YRMC's Wellness Center at YRMC West, 930 Division St. in Prescott.

It uses differential air pressure to unload up to 80 percent of an individual's body weight in precise 1 percent increments. Before this process begins, the patient dons a pair of comfortable shorts - similar to bicycle shorts - over his or her clothing. Next, the patient steps into the treadmill's air chamber where the shorts are zipped to the casing. This creates an airtight seal. Air then fills the chamber as it unloads the designated percentage of the patient's body weight.

The AlterG enhances rehab after sports-related injuries such as tendonitis, ACL repairs and total joint replacements. It can be used to treat people with balance and movement dysfunction resulting from stroke, Parkinson's disease or other neurological disorders. The AlterG also can be used to decrease the pressure on the spine after back surgery. This allows the patient to rehab and build core strength with less pain and discomfort.

Athletes also use the AlterG to reduce the frequency of injuries, improve their fitness and develop muscle coordination with less impact on the body. People interested in learning more about the AlterG Antigravity Treadmill may contact the YRMC Wellness Center at 771-5131.