[Purpose] The anti-gravity treadmill (Alter-G®) allows the load on the lower limbs to be adjusted, which is considered useful for patients with lower limb osteoarthritis. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of aerobic exercise using an anti-gravity treadmill in patients with lower limb osteoarthritis by using a cardiopulmonary exercise load monitoring system. [Subjects and Methods] The subjects were 20 patients with lower limb osteoarthritis. These subjects walked naturally for 8 minutes and then walked on the Alter-G for 8 minutes at their fastest speed at a load where lower limb pain was alleviated. [Results] Subjective and objective exercise intensity did not differ significantly between level ground walking and Alter-G walking neither before nor after walking. Pain before walking did not differ significantly between level ground walking and Alter-G walking, but pain after walking was significantly greater with level ground walking than with Alter-G walking. [Conclusion] Exercise therapy using an anti-gravity treadmill was useful for patients with lower limb osteoarthritis in terms of cardiopulmonary function, which suggested that this could become a new form of exercise therapy.
Keywords: Aerobics exercise; Anti-gravity treadmill; Lower limb osteoarthritis.