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AlterG: Accelerating rehab with technology invented by NASA

Updated: Jan 26

With the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, you can kickstart your rehabilitative exercises safely by working out from as little as 20% of your body weight.


AlterG setup at Spine and Joint Hartamas

AlterG: the smarter way of helping patients recover from musculoskeletal conditions caused by injury, trauma or surgery.


The Anti-gravity treadmill is now available at Spine and Joint Hartamas.

At Spine and Joint, we believe in helping you achieve optimal musculoskeletal health by offering you manual therapy alongside some of the best tech-enabled treatments in the world.

The latest addition to our evidence-based therapies is none other than AlterG; unlike ordinary treadmills, this unique anti-gravity treadmill allows users to operate it in a controlled air pressure chamber.

The air pressure chamber simulates the effects of anti-gravity, which revolutionises how we treat patients with sports injuries, orthopaedic and also patients with neurological conditions.

It unlocks a suite of new treatments, especially for patients experiencing pain in their lower body extremities such as the ankle, knee, hips and back pain caused by injury, trauma or surgery.

Before we discuss some of the benefits of the anti-gravity treadmills, here is more about the company that manufacturers AlterG.


AlterG, the leader in Anti-gravity treadmills

AlterG is a name in the health industry that has established itself among athletes and health experts internationally.


The medical device company operates from Fremont, California. Since 2005, Alter G manufactures Anti-Gravity Treadmill™ systems to help augment physical deficits and increase mobility.

In a nutshell, AlterG is a mobility enhancement product that is using a patented Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology for:

  • Orthopaedic rehabilitation

  • The management of neurological and chronic conditions

  • Active ageing

  • Optimise athletic performance among the elite.

The technology powering AlterG was initially developed by NASA to help astronauts maintain their strength and bone density while in space by manipulating the gravitational load so that it matches the gravitational pull of the Earth on the astronauts when they exercise.


How fascinating! (Hence, you will understand how our visuals show patients using AlterG as if they are running on the moon).

Why AlterG?

Generally, for Orthopaedic cases, the machine helps to reduce the strain on the joints of the lower limbs, including the hip, knee, and ankle.

So the application can be used for a wide range of Osteoarthritis, the post-operative intervention of the hips, knees, and ankles, and post sports injury of the lower limbs.

For Neuro cases, it encourages the freedom to move without fear of falling because a user is strapped-in for each session.

Therefore, it is ideal for patients with stroke but also in any cases where balance is an issue for the patient and support is needed.

Instead of bedrest or the fear of re-injury, patients now have the option of seeking treatment earlier with the assistance of one of our Physio's and Chiros.

We believe that the AlterG is going to empower more people than ever to achieve their aspirations for a quality of life they may have never thought possible before. Here are some examples of the use cases:

A) For Cardiac and Geriatric patients

  • Patients deconditioned to exercise

  • Experiencing cardiovascular conditions

  • Improve balance, mobility and lower extremity strength

  • Gait training - walking speed and gait kinematics


B) Orthopaedics

  • Post-Fracture

  • Post-Operative Rehab

  • ACL Reconstruction

  • Meniscectomies & Meniscus Repairs

  • Microfracture

  • Total Hip & Total Knee Replacement

  • Achilles Reconstruction

  • Post-Injury Rehab


C) Neurological

  • Stroke Recovery

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

  • Parkinson’s Disease

  • Cerebral Palsy


D) Chronic Conditions

  • Obesity

  • Functional Decline

  • Diabetes

  • Peripheral Artery Disease

  • Arthritis & Inflammatory Joint Diseases

  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)


E)Athletic Performance

  • Increase Training Volume Safely

  • High-Intensity Interval Training

  • Overspeed Training

  • Lateral and Retro Walking

  • Plyometric Drills (Skipping and Single Leg Hopping)

  • Active Recovery


Use cases for Alter G in Malaysia


We want to share with you some of the most common use cases for our patients. One of our Physiotherapists is always on duty throughout the session.


Patients get assistance, guidance and rehabilitative training exercises (if needed) tailor-made to the individual.


Example 1: 'Strapping in' Neuro patients or Geriatric patients

One of the biggest fears we commonly have for our warga emas (seniors) is the fear of falling.

It is the same for neuro patients, for example, patients who are recovering from a traumatic brain injury.


Because the fear is so great, parents and caretakers struggle to provide a safe environment for these group of individuals.


Without physical therapy, it may have adverse effects on these patients of left untreated long-term.


However, with AlterG, patients have not only the opportunity to exercise but also the ability to speed up their recovery towards ambulation (walking without the need for assistance).


For starters, the patient is always securely strapped-in or harnessed before the session starts ensuring that the patient is upright and will never fall.


The idea is to have a patient use the anti-gravity treadmill with repetition and in time, training the patient's neurological system to pick up on the gait mechanics that lead to improved ambulation.





Example 2: Reducing gravity with Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology for Orthopaedic patients

One of the most common sports injuries we treat at Spine and Joint are knee and ankle injuries.

Take an ankle injury, for example. Usually, a patient is limited to icing the injury and bedrest until the inflammation has decreased.


During this period, the patient has limited means to exercise other than hydrotherapy or traditional exercises with unweighing straps.


Both of these options can prove to be challenging in Malaysia due to the limitation of these facilities built especially for orthopaedic patients.


With the AlterG, patients have the benefit of unweighing themselves from as little as 20% of their body weight in one per cent increments to minimise the impact on their joints using the Differential Air Pressure Technology by NASA.


Therefore, it can support patients in any if not all three of the following situations to help them in their journey to recovery:


  • Supporting tissue to heal faster with movement and blood flow

  • Restore normal walking and running mechanics

  • Reduce pain during movement


Studies have shown that early active action reduces joint stiffness, scar tissue formation and overcoming joint weakness.


Patients can begin weight-bearing activity earlier and load lower extremity training progressively to build strength, normalise gait mechanics and increase cardiovascular/muscular endurance back to normal.


These are especially critical for athletes and patients who need to regain their full mobility as soon as possible to perform at their best.





Example 3: Weight loss training with AlterG

For patients who have to deal with the effects of obesity and weight loss, it is a challenging task both physically and mentally.

At Spine and Joint Hartamas, we have created a safe and comfortable environment for a patient to workout and to follow the guidance of our Physiotherapists in combination with healthy eating to support the weight loss.


The unweighing technology allows patients to workout without feeling the strain on their lower extremities (knees and hips) compared to the traditional treadmill.


As a bonus, the ability to "feel what their body is like at a lower weight" is also highly motivational.

As a result, unweighting allows them to exercise in a pain-free range and a pace that the patient is comfortable with and patients can start from as little as 15 minutes in combination with other exercises to gradually increase their cardio.


Clinically proven case studies with AlterG

AlterG is an evidence-based therapy backed by a growing body of research spanning orthopaedics, sports medicine, neurological, chronic condition management.


To date, the team behind AlterG has conducted over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals have been published on the use and efficacy of AlterG’s lower body positive pressure (LBPP) therapy.

To find out more about AlterG's clinical summary, resources and case studies, please visit https://www.alterg.com/clinical-information/



Connect with us at Spine and Joint


Recently, AlterG was featured on News Straits Times. To read the article visit here: https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/bots/2019/12/548565/applying-tech-chiropractic-treatment


Spine and Joint continues to invest in tech-driven treatments in combination with manual therapy to help patients optimise their musculoskeletal health.


At Spine and Joint, there are no distinctions between the merits of Physiotherapy or Chiropractic, but rather each treatment is tailor-made to the individual, and it may incorporate both Physiotherapy and Chiropractic.

AlterG is now available at Spine and Joint Hartamas and each session is conducted by appointment only due to the limited availability of sessions each day.

To contact our Hartamas outlet/find out more about AlterG, you can ring us during clinic hours at +6 03 6204 9100.


Spine and Joint is located opposite Hartamas Shopping Centre, KL.

If you would like a free self-assessment, you can take the quiz at https://www.spineandjoint.asia/free


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