Physical therapy patients experience less pain on new type of tr - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Physical therapy patients experience less pain on new type of treadmill

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The treadmill helps ease the pain patients often endure from physical therapy. The treadmill helps ease the pain patients often endure from physical therapy.
STORM LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) -

A physical therapy clinic in Storm Lake, Iowa has a new machine to help patients after surgery get back on their feet.  It's also helping other patients at Nicholson Physical Therapy with different conditions see some impressive results.

This is a therapy that 16-year-old Ryan Assmann actually enjoys.

"It was pretty cool," says Assmann.  "I was shocked."

Wheelchair bound from birth because of spina bifida, Assmann stays in shape with therapy once a week.  A new type of treadmill really makes him work.

"I get a good workout," says Assmann.  "The first time I used it I had a lot of sweat."

It's called the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.  It combines space age technology with old fashioned therapy.

"Anywhere from younger teens all the way up to the geriatric population just about anyone can use it," says Todd Nicholson, a physical therapist and owner of Nicholson Physical Therapy.  "For post surgical to weight loss programs to just trying to take a little pressure of their legs while working out."

Patients are zipped into a bag that fills with air.  The air pressure lifts them up and they can adjust how much weight their legs can handle depending on their condition.

It helps ease the pain patients often endure from physical therapy.

"The fact that they can walk with no pain or run with no pain is very encouraging for them and we get them doing things on here that they haven't been able to do," says Nicholson.

Assmann, whose never been able to walk without crutches, describes the machine as something out of this world.

"It's kind of like walking on the moon," says Assmann.  "It sort of lifts the weight off your feet and supports you while you walk."

And while patients walk, cameras capture their steps so they can make sure they're walking correctly.

"The brain learns how to walk again and if we learn to walk with a limp, then the brain has learned that pattern and we try to get them off of that," says Nicholson.

For Assmann, the treadmill has given him an experience he's never had before.

"Just to be able to get up and move, I've never had the feeling of jogging or running before so it felt pretty good," says Assmann.

The Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill is an extra feature for the Nicholson Physical Therapy clinic and its patients.  The clinic got it a few months ago and there's not another one like it in the area.

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