Our friends at Healthfit Collective are the only institute in the lower north island to have an Alter-G Treadmill readily available to benefit the public. This amazing technology which was originally developed by NASA has the ability to help people of any size and shape run at up to 80% of their bodyweight if required.
Wellington Sports Med and Willis Street Physiotherapy’s Peter Snowdon (Physiotherapist) has guided patients through rehabilitation at Healthfit Collective on the Alter-G. He gave us a bit of an overview of the treadmill and the type of people who would benefit from its use .
What Type of patients would benefit from it’s use.
High level athletes,
Athletes who have a lot of loading in their programmes e.g. runners/endurance athletes
Patients with Arthritic changes
Obese patients/weight loss
Post surgical rehab
Early return to sport rehab
Patients managing a chronic stress injury e.g. stress fracture
Can you give us a rundown of the Alter G?
It is a treadmill that you can alter the effect of gravity. You can increase or decrease the percentage of body weight you feel when you run. It will lessen the impact of running. Caters to a large range of sizes. You can use it forwards and backwards. You can up the resistance and speed. People have said it is similar to running through the water without resistance.
Patient and Ironman competitor, Malcolm Cleland, gives us the run down on the Alter-G and his road to recovery before competing in a Half Ironman event in Canada.
How has the Alter G impacted/assisted with your recovery?
For me, having a rest when you choose to is like a dream come true, having a rest because you’re injured and the physio instructs you too is a nightmare. Thankfully, the Alter G made that “rest” period as short as possible and helped me mentally, as much as it did physically, with my recovery from a back injury. The Alter G meant I was able to start running again 2-3 weeks sooner than expected, which was a huge boost as I tried to build towards a Half Ironman event in Canada. The Alter G also provided a great gauge of recovery progress as I could reduce the anti-gravity effect each session and really notice the improvement in my fitness and recovery. I definitely didn’t toe the start line of the half Ironman feeling anywhere near my best, but at least I knew I had enough running under my belt to not embarrass myself, or worse, re-injure myself! For someone who is normally so active, the ability to run on the Alter G provided as much of a mental boost as it did physically, just ask my girlfriend who had to deal with the initial injury fall out!
From a patient’s perspective what is your overall impression of the Altar G?
This sort of technology is normally reserved for the likes of elite athletes who have thousands of followers on Facebook and Instagram. I’m working on my social media skills but sadly I’m still a mere mortal, so the fact this type of technology is now accessible to someone like myself is a real privilege. For anyone trying to recover from an injury this is definitely something that I would highly recommend, particularly if you have a slightly obsessive compulsive personality like myself and simply hate sitting on the couch when you’re being forced too! It’s certainly something I wish I could’ve used in the past for other niggles or injuries I’ve had.