If you’ve ever suffered a severe knee injury from running, you’ll know how difficult recovery can be. Not only for your body, but for your mind as well. Medication isn’t usually prescribed to help you get over the psychological challenges and even when you’re given the all clear, the thought of facing the track again can be daunting.
Fear is one of the major contributors to recovery, found a study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Alongside physical injuries, addressing your fear will dramatically help you make a full recovery. But how do we do that?
The University of Kent are testing space age technology to help those recovering from knee surgery get back to sport and exercise. In a report, published in the journal Physical Therapy in Sport, Dr Karen Hambly explains how anti-gravity treadmills can play a key part in helping patients gradually return to running.
Running can increase the load on knee joints by up to five times more than walking. When the cartilage covering the surface of the bone is damaged, it’s unable to heal itself, therefore a surgical procedure must be carried out.
This new technology offers patients a way to reduce fears about re-injury and increase self-belief, something that is regularly lost after injury but not often addressed.
The anti-gravity treadmill allows patients to walk or run without the pressure from their body weight which reduces the load on the joints. This helps bridge the gap between rehabilitation and return to sport.
Air pressure in the treadmill offers the same feeling as walking on the moon by being adjusted to take the patient to only 20% of their body weight.
This report followed an eight week return to running program of a 39-year-old female endurance runner. It monitored her from the end of her post-knee surgery rehabilitation to being able to take part in the sport again.
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