Altered Gravity Treadmill (AlterG) Rehabilitation

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How does Altered Gravity Technology actually work?

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Use the AlterG to return to normal running

How does a 735,000 lb plane take off and fly?  The answer is lift!  In a similar way that air flows under a plane’s wings allowing it to fly the Altered Gravity Treadmill (AlterG) computer provides air to lift you while you are running.  The computer can be adjusted to provide different % of lift.  This allows you to weigh as much or as little that is necessary.  By providing lift and decreasing your body weight many goals can be accomplished.

  1. Decrease stress on bones
  2. Decrease stress on joints
  3. Decrease stress on muscles and tendons
  4. Decrease stress on the heart
  5. Decrease stress on your cardiovascular system

Why should I use the AlterG for rehabilitation?  Imagine for a minute that you had torn your bicep tendon.  It would make sense to rehabilitate it right.  But it is weak from disuse and the tear so you would begin to strengthen it using very light weight.  Week by week as it improved you would continue to lift heavier weight in order to stimulate the tendon to grow and repair.  That is EXACTLY what you are doing with the AlterG and weight bearing structures.  By walking or running at lesser your body weight you are effectively stimulating the injured structure to strengthen, grow and repair.  The advantage is you are also getting cardiovascular exercise as well as strengthening your body to do what it should be able to do pain free..walk and/or run!

How long do you go on the AlterG for?  AlterG sessions can range from 1/2 hour to 5 hours!  Yes we have had multiple Ultramarathon runners train for 100 mile races on the AlterG running up to 5 hours at a time.  While their fractured bones were healing they were able to run pain free and continue to progress toward their goal.  As the bone strengthened they were able to add body weight and cause the bone to strengthen and repair at an accelerated pace!

How many sessions do I do on the AlterG? Most people do they AlterG 2-3x a week for 4-6 weeks resulting in 10-12 sessions for rehabilitation purposes. A package of 10 sessions is $220 or $22 a session.  We have some people that enjoy running on the AlterG for reasons other than rehabilitation and packages of up to 36 session can be purchased.

How much does the AlterG cost?  The machine can cost anywhere from $40,000 – $75,000 depending on the bells and whistles it comes with.  But if you are asking how much it costs to train on the AlterG pricing ranges from $30 for an individual session to $22 per session when a package of 10-12 is purchased.  Session can range from 1/2 hour to 5 hours!  If you are rehabilitating an injury and have health care coverage your insurance can be billed as it is considered exercises therapy.

I don’t want to walk or run on a treadmill.  I know me either.  We live in San Diego so walking and running on treadmills (or Dreadmills as we call them) is not as common as it is in cold weather states.  But your injured and this will allow you to rehabilitate and walk or run while you are repairing.  It will also allow you to strengthen your body to the activity that you want to actually do.  Let’s face it doing bench press might make you stronger but it certainly will not help you get back to walking or running.  We installed a 55 inch TV with Netflix and sound proof headphones so you can more fully enjoy your AlterG experience.  I have personally used it and the ability to zone out and catch up on a favorite program while rehabilitating my injury made the process……..enjoyable!

How do I get started using the AlterG? email me at or call the San Diego Running Institute at 858-268-8525

Altered Gravity (AlterG) Treadmill Information, Videos and Research


About the Author:

Dr. Bruce B. Allen, DC, CKT is a graduate of Southern California University of Health Sciences, (LACC). Prior to becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, he worked as a Physiotherapist and Personal Trainer throughout San Diego. Dr. Allen received his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (Human Movement & Sports Science) specializing in Kinesiotherapy from San Diego State University. In addition, Dr. Allen has had extensive experience working with patients for post-operative and sports injury rehabilitation in a local physical therapy clinic here in San Diego.

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