A Weightless Walk Helps Heal Joints

Most people dread the thought of having to use a treadmill, especially as part of physical therapy following an injury or medical procedure. But Fairfield Medical Center is aiming to make that experience less painful.

Outpatient Therapy Services 2FMC’s Outpatient Therapy Services/Sports Clinic recently purchased the AlterG® Anti-Gravity® Treadmill through a donation from the Aladdin Shriners Hospital Association. This treadmill simulates an anti-gravity environment by un-weighting or reducing gravity’s impact anywhere from 20 percent to 100 percent of the user’s total bodyweight.

Wyatt Predmore, senior noseguard football player for the Amanda-Clearcreek High School Aces, is one patient who has benefitted from the anti-gravity treadmill. Predmore pulled his hamstring in July while running sprints at football camp. After two more similar instances and two months of not being able to walk on his own, he sought medical attention.

“My pain level was an eight on a one-to-10 scale,” Wyatt said. “For two months, the pain was so intense I could not do anything physical. I didn’t have any strength and had to use crutches.”

Wyatt first visited the urgent care, where it was recommended he begin physical therapy. His first three weeks of therapy consisted of ultrasound treatment, deep tissue massage and stationary bike. His last week and a half was spent on the anti-gravity treadmill. Wyatt is certain the treadmill decreased his recovery time.

“I felt so much more confident using the AlterG,” he said. “Being able to un-weight 50 percent of my total bodyweight, I didn’t experience any discomfort or pressure.”

The AlterG isn’t just beneficial for athletes, but also for patients with non-sports related conditions.

Outpatient Therapy Services 1In May, Lancaster resident Sharon James underwent a successful heart transplant at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. In the weeks following her surgery, she began experiencing extreme pain in her right leg. Doctors found a hematoma to be the cause of her muscle and nerve pain and James was prescribed three weeks of therapy, which she chose to complete at FMC.

“I had at least six therapy sessions on the AlterG. I really believe that treadmill is what helped me,” she said. “It forced me to be independent and trust that I could use my leg without experiencing pain, which encouraged me to want to continue therapy. I actually really enjoyed it.”

Tags: Outpatient Therapy, Sports Med, orthopedic, rehab,