Morton Plant Hospital Offers New AlterG technology to Recovering Patients, Athletes

December 29, 2014

Anti-Gravity Treadmill Reduces Bodyweight to Help Recovery, Training

CLEARWATER, Fla., (December 29, 2014) – Morton Plant Hospital continues its commitment to offering the latest technology for the community by offering the newest AlterG technology to help patients and injured athletes get back in shape.

In 2011, Morton Plant Hospital became the only facility in the Tampa Bay area to offer patients and local athletes use of the AlterG “anti-gravity” treadmill, which uses technology first developed by NASA.

Now, it is the first hospital-based facility in central Florida to offer the enhanced AlterG P200. The AlterG treadmills differ from other fitness and therapeutic equipment, applying a lifting force to the body. This reduces weight on the lower extremities, offering a number of benefits. For athletes, it allows them to train longer, minimize stress on the joints, and exercise at a higher level of intensity. For medical patients, the benefits are numerous, helping patients suffering from arthritis, lower extremity fractures, knee replacement surgery, joint problems, neurological and balance disorders, and many other conditions.

The new AlterG P200 has features designed to accommodate medical patients up to 400 lbs., who otherwise may have difficulty exercising because of weight or injuries, and to help elite and professional athletes increase the intensity and variety of their rehab.

The AlterG P200 goes faster than the original AlterG – 18 mph in forward and 10 mph in reverse. It also allows users to move in the unit, so they can switch from forward to side-to-side movement to backwards running without having to stop the machine and change positions. A touchscreen control offers more programming options for training, along with feedback on users’ progress.

“By offering the AlterG P200, which also is used by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and major college teams in the state, we are able to accommodate more medical patients and to provide performance enhancement for athletes,” said Jim Nichols, manager of rehabilitation services for Morton Plant Mease. “This new unit has many enhancements, such as more windows to allow physicians and the rehabilitation team a better view of the user’s positioning.”

A workout on these treadmills starts with the AlterG measuring body weight when the user presses start. By simply pressing the up/down arrows on the control panel – or by entering their personalized ZIP drive in the new unit – the user can decrease their body weight, with the air chamber inflating around their lower body so the air pressure literally “floats” them off the treadmill to the body weight setting they selected.

The AlterG and AlterG P200 treadmills at Morton Plant are among a handful of AlterG treadmills in Florida, and Morton Plant is the only facility in the Tampa Bay Area – and the only hospital system in the state – offering the machine. At Morton Plant, the AlterG P200 has been used by everyone from a patient recovering from a joint procedure to high-level athletes, such as elite marathon runners recovering from injuries and one of the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

The AlterG P200 is open to the public. Twelve 45-minute sessions cost $125. The original AlterG remains available for the public to use through two monthly pricing plans: three weekly sessions of 45 minutes for $100; or four weekly sessions of 60 minutes for $200. There’s also an option to purchase 10 sessions of 45 minutes for $225 that must be used within three months.

For more information, call (727) 953-9198.

About Morton Plant Hospital
Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility. Our commitment to improving the health of everyone we serve is reflected in our community partnerships and many honors. Morton Plant is the only hospital in the United States to have been awarded Top 100 Hospital designations by the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success for a consecutive 13 years. Other hospital honors include: “Baby-Friendly” hospital status from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for its efforts to support mothers’ decision to breast feed and received Florida Hospitals Association’s Innovation of the Year in Patient Care award. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater, Fla. For more information about Morton Plant Hospital, call (727) 953-6877.

About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Comprised of a network of 12 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 280 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need.

BayCare’s hospitals include: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Women’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South (opening in early 2015), South Florida Baptist and Winter Haven. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at