December 18, 2018

PT360 brings NASA technology to Williston

The employee-owned physical therapy cooperative PT360 has added an Alter G Anti-Gravity treadmill to it’s Williston location, bringing the science of NASA to its clients.

Lauren Read

Observer correspondent

The employee-owned physical therapy cooperative PT360 has added an Alter G Anti-Gravity treadmill to it’s Williston location, bringing the science of NASA to its clients.

The treadmill uses an air pressure feature to create an environment that helps reduce the amount of body weight and pressure when standing, walking or running.

“You can take away weight-bearing forces, and it can help with pain,” said Edie Bernhardt, a physical therapist at PT360. “It helps people who have balance issues or fear of falling. There is no chance you are going to fall over and you are in charge of how fast you are going.”

The Alter G machine was brought to the Williston location in May of this year and Bernhardt said that 25-30 people have taken advantage so far.

“We have had a very high success rate on the machine,” Bernhardt said. “We are learning as we go along who are the best people for the machine.”

So far, Bernhardt said, the anti-gravity treadmill has helped those who who are dealing with pain and others who need help with balance and walking.

“We had a woman with big toe pain and with this system we were able to get her to run,” Bernhardt said. “She hasn’t been able to run in years.”

Another client had been dealing with a leg fracture and was able to get on the treadmill and run, while still having to walk on crutches when he was out of the machine.

The treadmill relieves body weight by having users step into a pair of shorts that act as a harness. Once the user is zipped in, the machine inflates air around the person’s lower body and “unweights” them. For example, a person who weighs 100 pounds could feel as light at 20 pounds while in the machine.

“It has a screen in front of you that is interactive,” Bernhardt said. “You can look at your feet and see how you are putting weight on your feet.”

With the addition of the anti-gravity treadmill, Bernhardt is excited about what PT360 can do for patients who struggle with movement.

“For people who have a lot of pain, its great pre-operatively, it’s great post operatively,” Bernhardt said. “I have always been a strong advocate of the pool, but this has an advantage. This gives you a different perception.”

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