How I Developed the LightSpeed Lift

Throughout my 32 years as a Physical Therapist I have searched for equipment that helps my patients move!

  • People who have been injured and are itchy to return to the road;
  • People with balance issues who need slight assistance maintaining their balance and regain confidence while moving.
  • People who have joint pain when walking or running and need only a moderate “lift” to reduce the impact below the painful level and make movement fun again.

In the 90’s I discovered Body Weight Support systems as a useful tool to improve movement. The problem with early systems was that they were designed for total body support and most patients seeking treatment in outpatient Orthopedic centers need only slight support. Total body support was cumbersome to put on, uncomfortable to wear and expensive to purchase. Most systems applied the lift through the rib cage causing constriction and anxiety. One system lifted through the pelvis but was expensive and unreliable limiting access. Through trial and error I developed a method of connecting elastic lift cords to a users hip joint allowing free trunk motion and normal leg swing. This system made the user lighter, helped stability and balance and decreased the impact force significantly. LightSpeed Lift was a name given to the system by a frequent user because the lift made her lighter and faster.

The basic design fist developed 7 years ago in Duluth, MN is now being used by clinicians and individuals around the country to improve safety, confidence and movement quality for a variety of clients. People with Cerebral Palsy who had never walked without support have gained the ability to walk short distances without support. People with traumatic brain injury who were fearful of walking or running due to balance problems have regained the confidence to return to sport and occupation. Runners with joint pain who had given up on running due to pain are able to run again faster and farther than they could before using LightSpeed Lift. Athletes who had been injured were able to return to the games they loved faster and with fewer complications.

LightSpeed Lift has given so many clients a renewed sense of wellness and confidence they had been missing until the used LightSpeed. Many of my clients and others around the country have purchased systems for personal and clinical use. Fitness centers have purchased LightSpeed Lift systems for their members because of low cost, high reliability and great client satisfaction for users. Many facilities have found that LightSpeed Lift is a member generator and keeps clients coming to their facilities. At an affordable price point ranging from <$3,000 for the home model and <$5,000 for the clinical model LightSpeed Lift provides effective, efficient Lift at a price everyone can afford.

If you would like to learn more about LightSpeed Lift please connect with our sales team or find a system near you.

Low-Tech Alternative to AlterG on Market

By Michelle Hamilton

Minnesota physical therapist has invented a treadmill device that reduces a runner’s body weight by 20 to 30 pounds, decreasing the impact on the body and enabling faster workouts.

Lightspeed Lift is a low-tech simulation of the AlterG treadmill, used by a wide range of athletes, from Alberto Salazar’s squad  in Oregon to NFL players. The purported benefits of these reduced-body-weight systems include less injury risk (because of a lower amount of repetitive stress), speedier recovery from injury, and faster times. Lightspeed Lift’s price—$1,800 to the AlterG’s minimum of $25,000—should make it available to a wider audience than that of the AlterG.

Unlike the AlterG, which uses a high-tech air pressure-controlled chamber to lift runners, Lightspeed Lift looks like a relic of the 1970s (remember the shaker?). A metal frame fits around a treadmill, and bike shorts are attached by Velcro to bungee cords clipped to the frame. The shorts act like a harness, suspending the runner over the treadmill. Adjusting the frame height lets you control how much weight is eased off your stride.

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