NASA-developed technology is being deployed in a new anti-gravity treadmill to help to treat patients in need of physiotherapy and physical therapy.
The Rivard Report notes how 69-year-old William Wilson has been walking with a cane since 2015, following two back surgeries, two knee replacements, and a new ankle.
This last week Wilson tried out a pair of “space shorts” – which create an airtight seal around the waist and effectively encase the legs and feed in an anti-gravity field, using differential air pressure developed by NASA.
The original tech was developed back in the 1980s as a way of helping astronauts to exercise while in space.
“One of the most functional things we do as human beings is walk,” said Dr. Jordan Mazick, physical therapist at the HealthLink Fitness and Wellness Center with the Baptist Health System.
Mazick notes that the ‘space shorts’ treadmill can be used for people with ankle sprains, Achilles tendon repairs, ACL reconstruction surgeries, and for people who suffered a stroke or other neurological issues.
They don’t come cheap though, as you’d expect! One AlterG treadmill can cost up to $75,000. But with over 17 million adults in the U.S. suffering medium to severe walking difficulties, there is clearly a market for this awesome new use of space-tech in physical therapy.