Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne Director of Women’s Services Kelly Curlee had just started trying to run again in an attempt to get back in shape. But almost as soon as she started, an old tendon injury flared up.
“It was like knives were in the bottom of my foot,” she said. “I couldn’t run at all; I was having shooting pains in my arch.”
That’s when Curlee turned to the physical therapy department and physical therapist Reinier Botha. Botha showed her the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, a machine donated by the Black & White Gala, that allows the user to “unweight” themselves in a pressure-controlled chamber of air attached to a special rehabilitation treadmill.
The treadmill was developed so that anyone — even those without an injury or physical disability — can use it for exercise benefits. But for those like Curlee with an injury, the possibilities for recuperation are endless. Without bearing full body weight on their leg joints, the user is able to run, walk or exercise much farther and faster than they would in a typical gym setting or on pavement.
The workout is also just as beneficial, because calories are burned at about the same rate as being on a typical treadmill, Botha said.