Samaritan Bethany treadmill gives patients an out of this world - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Samaritan Bethany treadmill gives patients an out of this world feeling

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Rochester nursing care facility is giving patients the feeling they are walking on the moon when it comes to rehabilitation. A brand new anti-gravity treadmill is helping to get patients back on their feet more efficiently and with less pain.

It really feels like you're walking on a cloud and will help rehab patients that have recently had a stroke or any other injury that affects mobility. Once you put on a special pair of shorts and get zipped in, science takes over.

"It feels like you're not even doing any work," said Assistant Clinical Mentor Dee Erbe. But she's walking as if there were no gravity. 

"It uses air to take the remainder of that weight so that the person can comfortably stand or walk, something they may not have done in weeks," said Physical Therapist Kim Mathot.

If a patient is having trouble with stability, either from a stroke, hip or knee replacement, or something along those lines, the patient can walk or run completely stable and with no pressure on the joints. 

"It felt like I was walking on air, I had no trouble with any joint pain," said Erbe. "It was a pretty incredible experience and to think that I'm able to experience that in this nursing home is incredible."

Water rehabilitation requires the uses of other muscles to balance, but the treadmill allows the use of the same joints and muscles you would use to walk, strengthening and training more efficiently. The anti-gravity treadmill has seen a few patients since it was plugged in earlier this month and the response from them after using it has been very positive. 

"We had one patient that has had a real fear of falling and was very resistant to walking, but we got her in this and she was so much more mobile and free just being able to move," said Occupational Therapist Lynn Seurer. 

Costing almost $50,000, Samaritan Bethany would not have been able to have this machine if it wasn't for a grant. 

"It's just really exciting because the patient will come in and prior to having this they might not be able to walk for six weeks until the doctor says they can put full weight on a joint and now we can get them started sooner," said Mathot.

Samaritan Bethany said they are the only skilled long-term care center that has one if these treadmills and they are excited to keep on treating their patients.

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