Jul 23, 2014 8:32 AM by Elizabeth Hill
Originally used by NASA to help astronauts returning home from space, the medical uses for the zero gravity treadmill are endless.
"You can actually select the number of weight bearing reduction you want to apply."
Physical therapist Tony Quinn says his patients range from people going through rehabilitation after surgeries or injuries, elderly people with balance problems and even runners training for long-distance races.
"The progression is to reduce the amount of support as you progress and to get them to the point where they can walk on dry land or just walk normally."
Patient David Arceneaux hurt his back after a fall and as a result his right foot turns out, making walking difficult.
"When I get on that machine and I have it on a higher setting so I get some traction for my back and my foot actually turns in better and it feels weird because I'm walking normal."
Quinn says, unlike traditional therapies using a pool, the treadmill better simulates a real walking environment.
"It's normal movement, the patients just walking, you know they aren't walking against the resistance of water, it's a lot more convenient."