Rehabilitation after a car accident has many steps. Depending on the severity of your accident, you could be back on your feet within six months, or it may take over a year to experience a full recovery. No matter how catastrophic your injuries are following a car accident, the benefits of anti gravity treadmills can help.
What are anti-gravity treadmills?
Created by a NASA scientist in the 1990s, the anti-gravity treadmill was able to let astronauts exercise in space. By using a harness to tether them to the machine, astronauts could work out the way they would on Earth because the treadmill was able to stimulate our planet’s gravity system. But, the machine was considered too bulky for space. However, in 2005, the technology was reversed to allow people who were recovering from injury to run or walk by decreasing the feeling of gravity. Instead of using a downward force to let astronauts exercise in space, now, anti-gravity treadmills use unweighting technology to create a feeling of lightness.
What are the benefits of anti-gravity treadmills?
Anti-gravity treadmills can play an essential role in the recovery process following a car accident. Here’s how:
- Exercise without pain:
The treadmill uses anti-gravity technology, so your body weight is reduced in 1% intervals, you are able to pinpoint the exact moment when walking or running becomes pain-free. One of the main goals of this machine is to allow those who have suffered injury from a car accident to get their mobility back. When you are able to exercise at a reduced body weight, you are able to perform the movements associated with walking and running without feeling any discomfort.
- Promote cardiovascular and muscle health:
When your mobility is reduced after a car accident, you may find exercising taxing. However, it’s important that you do exercise because you need to keep up your cardiovascular and muscle health. You can exercise without pain on an anti-gravity treadmill (see #1), you’ll be more inclined to get moving. When you move on this type of treadmill you get the benefits of burning calories, working your heart and lungs while your blood flows to all your body’s cells to promote healing. Without your cardiovascular and muscle health working in tandem you will not be able to properly recover.
- Work on your gait:
One of the things you’ll need to work on post-accident is your gait. With an anti-gravity treadmill, you’ll be able to track your cadence and gait symmetry with every step as you move without pain. You can adjust your step length and stance as you go until you’re able to improve your gait and walk/run as you did before the accident.
- Reduce impact on your joints:
When you walk or run on an anti-gravity treadmill you are reducing the impact on your joints. After a car accident, you want to recover without risking further injury and this machine allows you to do just that. Furthermore, the treadmill doesn’t only help with lower body injuries, it can also help you recover from upper body injuries as well because the less impact you place on your legs and lower back, the easier time you arms and neck have healing.
After a car accident you may have lost your confidence and think you’ll never be able to get back to full mobility. You may also be worried about gaining weight while you recover because you cannot exercise properly. However, an anti-gravity treadmill allows you to stay in shape while you recover without the risk of further injury. Your confidence will be restored as you are able to quickly get back to walking and running without pain.
How does this type of treadmill work?
To use an anti-gravity treadmill, you must first put on a pair of tight neoprene shorts because this material is flexible yet able to maintain its shape while you are active. The special shorts have a skirt attached to it that is lined with zipper teeth so that you once you step into the treadmill you can zipper yourself in (from the waist down you’ll be encased in an airtight plastic bag). The treadmill then measures your weight while you select the intensity of the workout. The anti-gravity treadmill makes you feel up to 80% lighter by inflating the plastic bag around your body. You get lifted off the treadmill’s surface and you don’t feel the intense impact of your feet hitting the ground like you would if you were running or walking on a normal surface.
Unfortunately, you cannot go to your local big box store and purchase an anti-gravity treadmill. You will need to visit a certified therapy clinic and work with a physiotherapist who can monitor your progress as you use the machine. Contact us for more information. If you’ve been injured in a car accident we’ll help get you back on your feet with our without gravity.