When you step into the oversized spandex shorts and then onto the treadmill, you are about to defy gravity.
Under the watchful eye of physical therapist Tyler Geib, I did just that. Once I was harnessed in, he activated an air chamber, so I slowly weighed next to nothing and gained everything.
As he gradually reduced my weight, I was lifted to the balls of my feet but still touched the treadmill to walk at a normal pace. The lightened load lessened the stress on my knees, ankles and back. At different intervals, he adjusted my weight, calibrated by sensors, and the rate at which the belt moved.
The difference was noticeable – and refreshing. I felt safe and comfortable the whole time.
That’s the power of AlterG at CORA Physical Therapy.
The elevating technology, for all ages, is designed to aid in sports conditioning and senior rehabilitation. The patented Differential Air Pressure lowers the impact on joints and muscles for faster recovery from surgery or injury. It helps seniors relearn proper balance and gait and helps athletes train without pain.
CORA Health Services, Inc., doing business as CORA Physical Therapy, developed the technology to help patients push their boundaries to recover sooner, improve physical function and enhance performance like never before.
“If you have knee pain, back pain or ankle pain, it’s just troublesome to walk. I can unload a percentage of body weight basically up to 75% or 80% – take it off of you similar to aquatics, like doing aquatic therapy,” said Geib, manager of CORA PT’s clinic on Pelham Road in Greenville.
The AlterG process allows Geib to get a patient upright a lot faster, he said. Previously, he might have relied more on mat-table exercises or parallel bars.
“The big difference I like about this over aquatics is if patients don’t want to get in the water or put on a bathing suit or anything, they don’t have to,” Geib said.
He has used AlterG with a wide range of patients, including those who have Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease of the central nervous system, and those who are elderly and worry about falling.
Cameras attached to the AlterG machine allow patients to see how they walk or run and monitor progress. Body weight can be reduced in 1% increments to allow them to regain function at their own pace.
“I’ve had several patients that’ll say ’Wow, this is what it would feel like if I lost 20 pounds,’” Geib said. “It kind of helps to motivate them to getting into a regular exercise routine whereas something else wouldn’t have been possible.”
CORA Physical Therapy operates more than 210 clinics in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, including specialty clinics under the Body Gears brand. It is a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors, a leading middle-market private equity firm based in San Francisco.
For more information on CORA Physical Therapy and AlterG, go to www.coraphysicaltherapy.com/ or call the Greenville office directly at 864-242-1163.
By David Dykes