A Brief History of AlterG’s NASA Technology – The Early Years

NASABy BRIAN GILLIS | Published: APRIL 22, 2015

First there was space…

This is how to run in space.

This is how you run in space.

In the 1960s, NASA started sending astronauts into space. At first, people spent only a short period of time outside the earth’s gravitational pull.

However, after the International Space Station was introduced, astronauts started extending their stay. The zero gravity environment began causing weight loss, muscle atrophy, and decreased bone density.   NASA was learning that exercising is hard when you can’t keep your feet on the ground!

To solve this problem, Dr. Robert Whalen, a NASA engineer, was tasked with developing a way for astronauts to exercise in space. He came up with a few options for NASA to consider, including a concept with a pressurized bubble that held astronauts down on a treadmill using air-pressure.

Just flip the pump!

All great ideas start in a garage!

While NASA decided to pursue one of Robert’s other ideas, his son Sean took a liking to his father’s concept of an air-pressure controlled treadmill. However, instead of adding gravity to run in space, he wanted to defy gravity to run on earth. By simply flipping the air pump, Sean created the concept for the Anti-Gravity Treadmill. While his father’s treadmill pulled the user onto the treadmill with a pressure-vacuum, Sean’s idea used air pressure to gently life the user off of the treadmill!

Sean and his father decided to make this idea a reality and went to work in their family’s garage in Palo Alto to develop the technology for what would become the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. After many months of trial and error, Sean created the first working prototype in 2005.

Time to bring in the professionals

Alberto Salazar was the first to adopt AlterG technology with his Olympic athletes

Before the first prototype was even finished, Alberto Salazar (an Olympic runner and coach of the best runners in the world) heard about the technology and wanted to help develop it for his athletes to use. He saw the ability to unweight a runner and reduce the impact of training as an invaluable tool for any competitive long distance runner.

Alberto Salazar began using the prototype with his athletes, including 10,000m Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp (see picture). After Salazar and his athletes got on board, local Bay Area teams like the Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors started using the prototype in their training rooms.

AlterG becomes AlterG

In 2007, AlterG sold its first commercial unit to the Washington Wizards. Soon after, other NBA, NFL, and universities started defying gravity, too.

While today’s Anti-Gravity Treadmills look different than the prototype, the concept behind the magic remains the same. By creating a pressurized lifting force around the lower half of the body, the “differential air pressure” can be controlled to produce a variable lifting force for someone to walk, run, and exercise with reduced and adjustable impact.

Help Available for Urinary Incontinence

Ladies and gentlemen, Don’t live with Urinary IncontinenceWe are here to help.  Call today for more information.

Given the increasing incidence of urinary incontinence in our aging population, greater attention is being paid to prevention. An easy preventive intervention would be learning proper technique of pelvic floor exercises or Kegels and performing them prior to the onset of urinary incontinence. Most patients currently perform Kegels incorrectly. All patients would benefit from confirmation of proper exercise technique by their physician or qualified pelvic floor physical therapist. Avoidance of chronic straining and maintaining a healthy weight also can reduce the risk of stress urinary incontinence.

In addition, patients with complaints of overactive bladder or urinary incontinence should be evaluated soon after the onset of the condition as patients with mild symptoms often have greater success with more conservative treatment options. Treatment of long-standing disease often involves more aggressive treatment with lower success rates.

The long-term effects of method of delivery, vaginal versus cesarean section, on urinary incontinence are currently controversial with conflicting data. It has been suggested that cesarean section protects the pelvic floor from long-term conditions including pelvic prolapse, urinary incontinence, and fecal incontinence but greater data needs to be analyzed prior to making clinical recommendations.

Call to schedule an appointment or to speak with Clinic Directors Michelle Beamer, PT, DPT, Cert MDT, ASTYM at 540 636 3500 or Sherisue Barber, PT, DPT, CLT, ASTYM at 540 665 2750.

 

Orlando Summit

Orlando2PartOrlando1 of the RR team was privileged to travel to Orlando this past month.  We were exposed to a high energy approach to new marketing opportunities which will give us innovative tools to use in promoting the many unique treatments and professional services we have to offer our community and other medical providers.  Rapid Rehab is unique in our hands on and personalized care of each patient we serve and we are excited about the many new opportunities to communicate that to the Winchester, Front Royal and surrounding areas.  Keep posted for informative newsletters, emails, letters and classes which will be offered to our communities.

Peggy Walk, Physician Liaison

 

Workshop on Running

Rapid Rehab Physical Therapists’ attended a workshop on Running!  Call us for more information!  Ask for Dr. Allison Bell or Megan King, PTA.

On April 11th the Shenandoah Valley Runner’s Club offered a running clinic featuring Dr. Mark Cucuzella, professor at WVU School of Medicine and greatly accomplished runner.  The clinic discussed nutrition for overall health, along with reversal of prediabetes and diabetes. Dr. Mark himself was diagnosed with prediabetes and gave insight to how he changed his diagnosis through better understanding of his diet and how the body processes food. A lab portion was also held outside, allowing Dr. Cucuzella to discuss running form and the importance of increasing mobility and strength with age.  Differences in running shoes and their effect on gait mechanics was discussed, as well as, the importance of being barefoot more often to help improve and adjust the proprioceptors in your feet, which in turn will reset the mechanoreceptors throughout your body. Dr. Cucuzella has been a competitive runner for over 30 years, competing at a national level. He is a two time winner of the Air Force Marathon, race director of Freedom’s Run race series in West Virginia, director of the Natural Running Center and owner of the nation’s first minimalist shoe store.running

Offering you the latest in rehabilitation technology

AlterGWe strive to be innovators in the field of physical therapy, which is why we only offer our patients the latest in rehabilitation technology. Most recently, Rapid Rehabilitation of Winchester added the Alter-G® Anti-Gravity Treadmill® to its available services. This piece of equipment uses unweighting technology to bring you down to as much as 20% of your body weight so you can run or walk without pain while you’re recovering from surgery or injury. We can also provide a complete gait analysis.

Call 540 665 2750 today to schedule your free Alter-G® demonstration.

Astym Patient Information Sheet

Astym is one of the most researched and effective therapy
treatments available. It is unmatched in its ability to resolve tendinopathies, scar tissue problems, and other
soft tissue dysfunctions.

Read more:  Astym Patient Information Sheet

Astym therapy improves function and range of motion following mastectomy

This article was published by the following Dove Press Journal:

Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy

8 March 20016

Authors:

  • Claire C Davies
  • Dorothy Brockopp
  • Krista Moe

Abstract: Hypersensitive scar tissue formation along the incision line and drain site is a common side effect following mastectomy. If this scar tissue is not addressed, it can lead to decreased flexibility and function in the involved upper quadrant. Astym® treatment is a new approach to soft tissue injuries, and is evidenced in animal studies to promote the healing and regeneration of soft tissues. It has also been found to reduce pain and increase function in people with soft tissue dysfunction. The aim of Astym treatment is to engage the regenerative mechanisms of the body in order to resorb scar tissue, stimulate tissue turnover, and regenerate soft tissues. Handheld instrumentation is applied topically to locate and treat the underlying dysfunctional soft tissue through specific protocols for the application of particular pressures and shear forces. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Astym treatment on activities of daily living in women who had undergone a mastectomy following a diagnosis of breast cancer. A quasi-experiment involving 40 women, following a mastectomy, evaluated five outcome measures pre- and post-Astym treatment. All five measurement scores: Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Outcome Measure; a clothing questionnaire on their ability to wear a bra; Patient-Specific Functional Scale; active range of motion of shoulder flexion; and active range of motion of abduction were also measured and all demonstrated significant changes. In this study, Astym treatment improved active range of motion in the involved quadrant and also improved function in patients following a mastectomy.

Read the full article

Virginia’s New Direct Access to Physical Therapy

It’s simple. Call our office to make an appointment. All you need is to identify a doctor to whom you would like us to send a report to on the day of your first appointment. You can then be seen for 30 days of physical therapy before the doctor needs to write a referral. It’s that easy.

3 Reasons Why You Should Have Your Patients Hip Thrust

 

3 Reasons Why You Should Have Your Patients Hip Thrust

Post-Mastectomy Physical Therapy ‘Widely Improves’ Quality of Life

The American Physical Therapy Association’s PT in Motion reports that Postoperative physical therapy that begins as early as 2 days after surgery significantly improves joint mobility and “widely improves the quality of life” for women who underwent mastectomies, according to a new study.

Read the full article here: http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/NewsNow/2014/2/18/PTAfterMastectomy/