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Thread: Zero gravity treadmill

  1. #11
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    No, its not too weird at all. It is really normal. It is human, I think.

    I just made an appointment for my Dad to go try this equipment at the nearby private Rehab clinic in a little over 1 week.

    The therapist I spoke to on the phone scheduled us to come by to "try it" under her guidance. If my Dad likes it, we will get a prescription for ongoing use.

    The therapist admitted that they use it primarily for orthopedic patients, but did use it recently for an incomplete SCI patient similar to my father, but who had less function. That patient liked it so much that he wanted to buy one for his personal use!

    My Dad still has dreams where he is in his wheelchair, and then he gets out of it and walks normally. I think he is hoping that when he gets into the AlterG, he will be able to take some "normal" steps.... where he isn't hanging on.... and his arms are swinging free...
    That would be bliss, not having to reach for something and support myself. My arms, wrists, elbows etcetera are worn out just from reaching. I know who I am and this is what I'll be till I'm old and gone but I really would like the chance to feel that weightlessness. From what I'm hearing, that's what it is like. I want the memory. It took ten years before I started using a chair in my dreams. Now I don't have dreams where I don't or if I do, I don't remember them. The pain does go away sometimes though and it's always a gift I appreciate.

    Funny, perhaps awful thing - a friend stopped using her chair and was walking around again. I got mad. I wanted to root for her and if anyone deserves a break or any improvement, it's her. But I got mad, like we had this agreement (totally in my head) that we used chairs. Then she didn't and I was like, hey what about me, shit. Nobody wants to feel that way but I don't have an SCI and spend time here at CC, I can understand when it's hard for people to hear about me walking and standing and heck just having sensation. I bet lot's of people would say, hey give me the pain, I'd be glad to take it if it meant my body was working.

    Disability is tricky stuff, what it does to you psychologically. The empathy from a friend who understands is great but I guess we're always human and don't like it when it seems someone else is getting a break. Listen to me, I just wanted to talk about trying this new thing and I start to wax rhapsodic. Been dealing with some acceptance stuff recently. :-)

  2. #12

    AlterG locations

    Hey everyone,

    This is Kate from the AlterG headquarters. Thank you for all the kind words about the product. It's great to hear that some of you have tried the AlterG and have seen some beneficial outcomes.

    I wanted to join the conversation by adding a link to give you a resource to Find An AlterG Near You: Most to all locations will offer a free demo to try the AlterG if you just give them a call.

    Should you have any clinical questions, I'd be happy to forward them to our Clinical Specialist.


    Kate @AlterG

  3. #13
    So today we had an appointment at a private Rehab center that has the AlterG.

    My father ........ loved it.

    It was easy to set up, comfortable, and had suitable support so he felt secure. The therapist started with 80% unweighting, just to let him feel what it was like, and then slowly started the treadmill. It was a little strange at first, remembering how to coordinate your legs in a normal stride, when they are so light. He quickly decreased the unweighting to 50%, and then increased the speed to 2 miles an hour. The more he walked the better his stride looked..... He looked great. His posture was incredible. Straight up.

    Only at the very end did I suggest trying to let go and walk with his arms swinging. This was a little bit harder to do, as he was walking faster at that point. "Which arm do I swing with which leg....?" So I suggested he wait until his next visit to do that... starting at a slower speed. But that will be possible....

    He had no pain. Normally, walking on a treadmill that long would give him increasing back/butt pain, and he would become more hunched over with each minute. He could easily have walked longer. He liked it better then Lokomat/Lite Gait by far, and better then walking in the pool.

    So we will start physical therapy with a script for "Gait training" on the AlterG.

    btw - the Rehab was NovaCare Rehabilitation. It's a private chain. Other sites have the AlterG as well, so you may want to look online to see if there is a site near you.

    In addition to using the AlterG as part of PT, this NovoCare site also allowed you to pay to use it outside of PT appointments. One free trial to start. There prices were cheaper then I expected.

    $15-25 per session (25-45 minutes) or
    $125-200 for 10 sessions or
    $300 for a monthly membership (max use - 90 minutes, 3x per week)

    Obviously, more expensive then a gym, but much less expensive then paying for PT out of pocket.

    The PT who worked with us said that a prior SCi patient bought one for himself to use at home.
    Last edited by hlh; 02-11-2012 at 03:37 AM.

  4. #14
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    HLH wrote: "His posture was incredible. Straight up."

    Wow, thanks for the report. That's what I want so badly, just to strand up straight with no pain. Mm, thinking about it now. I want that memory again. The prices seem totally reasonable. I'm Keeping the AlterG on my list, after I take care of some other things. Even if I can't find prices as low as the ones you found it will still be worth it for just one try. Thanks again for the report and I am glad you're dad had such a good time with it and even got a scrip to keep going, that's pretty lucky.

  5. #15
    First time on the Alter G today! It was great! I'll be back again

  6. #16
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by heidi32 View Post
    First time on the Alter G today! It was great! I'll be back again
    I'm envious! Please tell more about it. Did it take a long process to get into it, hard to use, what did it feel like etc.

  7. #17
    I was on a model that was four to five years old. I started by putting on these huge shorts (XXL) and shuffling over to the machine, which in my opinion, was really high. The newer model looks to sit lower to the ground. After you’re settled into the hole, bars are lifted to your height and the shorts are zipped into the machine.

    I agree with hlh, you can't escape the perfect posture and it felt good to stand straight. Every bit of pain I usually feel when I walked disappeared in the hips, knees, and ankles and I was able to move around 50% unweighing at 2.5 pace. I did move the machine down to 20% and it's just this incredibly light airy feeling I can't describe. It felt so good not to have to hold onto ANYTHING when I was walking, just to go and jam out to some music, but there are bars there if needed/wanted. The therapist assured me there was no way to fall on the machine so I felt secure. I was able to walk 1.15miles in an half an hour, but my butt is sore today! I guess that's a good thing! Thanks grommet for posting this, I would have never known this was out there in the world

  8. #18
    We are still using the AlterG. It is great, and for the first time ever last week my father broke a sweat using it. Normally, his pain/leg/back fatigue always limits his crutch walking and in the AlterG he can get an incredible cardiovascular work out, as well as improve his gait.

    He was in there for about 45 minutes total. We have learned it is a great place to do "standing exercises", which are usually part of his warm up. Squats, marching, swinging legs. Then for us there is a warm up of walking to his current level of 20 minutes at 2.5 mph using 65% of his own body weight (35% unweighted). Such great posture, and no pain. Really a tough work out.

    Then we have learned it is important to do a cool down on the machine. For weeks the student running the AlterG was stopping him too abruptly and he had bad back pain right after he got off the machine. It helps us to shift down to a lower speed to cool down (eg. 2 mph for 10 minutes) and then step down further over a couple of minutes. Then SLOWLY return the unweighting to normal (over a minute or two... not over 3 seconds!). If they quickly return to normal, it's like your spine suddenly loses all of its support, and the vertebrae just collapse on top of each other and crumble.... ouch! So if you leave the AlterG with back pain, they might not be cooling you down correctly. Ask the tech to read the manufacturer's recommendations for neurologic patients.

    If you leave the machine with leg/butt pain and ache, then that is "normal" and you gave those muscles a good walking work out!

    When using this machine, I have learned from one expert that the goal is to have the best posture possible with the best stride, and to choose the amount of unweighting to meet that goal. As you use it more and more and increase your endurance, increase the speed and increase the time on the machine. If you can ultimately decrease the amount of unweighting, that is good, but don't do that at the expense of good form.

    My Dad's goal still is to trying running. Not sure if he'll get there....

  9. #19
    I actually saw one of these things at therapy very hi tech looking
    ACDF C5/C6, C6/C7 9/2011& Central Cord Syndrome

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