The Orbiter Treadmill Experience Low Impact Running
Orbiter Treadmills


Eliminating Knee Pain and Back Pain on Treadmills
The Orbiter Treadmill
High Cardio Aerobic Treadmill Workout Therapeutic Exercise

Exercise pain - Runner's Knee

Orbiter takes the shock out of exercise, while delivering a natural feeling walking and running experience, with a greater aerobic workout, often without the pain that can become associated with normal walking and running exercise.


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Extinguishing Pain On Treadmills
Orbiter Treadmill Has An Over-Air Running Surface That Helps Patients Run Pain-Free

Michael. Mullin, ATE, PTA

Most incidents of antalgia are due to the ballistic force of heal strike that cause discomfort and subsequent alterations of normal movement patterns. Once this component is eliminated, the true pathology can be addressed.

This feature helped one runner who underwent anterior cruciate reconstruction. When trying to run on the ground, she experienced pain.

This discomfort caused her to have poor mechanics. However when running on the Orbiter low impact treadmill, the patient's adaptive patterns were eliminated, and her gluteal weakness became more apparent.


The slight give of the belt also allows patients to use the smaller intrinsic muscles of the foot and lower leg, which help improve stabilization and proprioception of the entire lower extremity.


Pain is often a smoke signal that indicates injury. People fear it and will avoid activities that cause pain, even during rehabilitation. That's why therapists need to choose equipment that can help, not heed, progress.


The ORBITER Treadmill promotes this kind of progress. Unlike traditional treadmills, the ORBITER has a suspended-over-air running surface, which helps eliminate the pain associated with injury. It reduces shock because there's no hard deck to stress joints.


This suspended surface allowed one professional ski racer to get back on the slopes after undergoing articular cartilage slurry transplant surgery on her knee.

Ordinarily, she would have not been able to train on the ground or on a treadmill because of shock attenuation. But she could with the Orbiter treadmill, which is manufactured by the Texas based company.


After four months of light workouts, gait training, cardiovascular /Fartlek training (which incorporates bouts of changes of intensity of training during one workout session), hill walking, proprioceptive work and graded load transmission, she was able to train for her next ski competition, which she won.


Getting on Their Feet
This suspended design also encourages proper muscle firing patterns, which are essential for nor- ~ mal gait, by reducing shock onto the ' skeletal structures, thus allowing soft Q tissue to contract properly.


Because the pain is reduced, therapists can identify abnormalities in patient gait.
The Orbiter treadmill has a suspended-over-air surface reduces such as compensation during shock on patients' joints.

Orbiter also gives an added benefit: a challenging cardiovascular workout. The trampoline-like surface of promotes more Oxygen uptake than ordinary treadmills, according to a study published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. And patients who haven't been able to run in years enjoy getting a cardiovascular workout.


This cardiovascular workout helped keep a 36-year-old runner in shape after she broke her leg and sustained a dislocated ankle fracture in a car accident. For 10 years the patient walked with an antalgic gait and could walk only a few blocks at a time.

But with the aid of the Orbiter treadmill's low impact surface, she walked without limping and didn't experience any pain. She returned to a pain-free, smooth gait for the majority of the day, She even began running on the Orbiter so she wouldn't miss out on one of her favorite hobbies - running.


Orbiter has helped many patients do the things they enjoy like take in the park or power walking with friends. By eliminating the shock of ordinary treadmills, Orbiter treadmills get them back on their feet faster without the searing blaze of pain.


1. Williams, J. S., Hone, L., & Carter, R. (1992). Oxygen Cost and Heart Rate Response During Treadmill Walking on Soft Platform Belt. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 12(2),413-417.


Michael J Mullin, ATC, PTA, is coordinator of rehabilitatian services at The Stone Clinic, San Francisco, California.



Do you suffer pain or sore joints while you are running or walking? Or after your workouts? Pain can turn joggers and runners into walkers. Pain also causes many - who would rather run - to have to use stationary bikes, stair climbers, ski machines, step machines, rowers, and low-impact aerobic classes. The newest of these "avoid impact" machines control the motion of your feet as you exercise on it. Just what you need. Right.

And that's too bad because people would rather run than pedal a stationary bike, climb steps, or slide their feet forward and backward. Before Orbiter, runners had no choice. A problem with the impact meant resigning yourself to secondary alternatives.

The Orbiter allows runners to run again by eliminating high impact shock.


Orbiter will automatically adjust the grade of the surface Up or Down until you have reached your optimum workout level. Orbiter monitors the exerciser continuously throughout the workout and makes adjustments as needed. Exercisers hear a series of pleasant "countdown tones" prior to any changes in grade of elevation.


Why is Orbiter better than other treadmills, other equipment, swimming or aerobic workouts:

The Orbiter trampoline treadmill combines sure-footed treadmill stability with shock absorbing trampoline comfort. This marriage of benefits creates powerful advantages for users, including:


Dramatically greater aerobic (Max Vo2) workout than other treadmills.

Cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary centers receive significantly greater workouts on an Orbiter treadmill than on other treadmills.

Impact is so much lower on an Orbiter than on other treadmills you can perform your walks jogs or runs barefoot.


Orbiter is the future arrived, new technology replacing the old. After ten years of institutional use by professional sports teams, hospitals, gyms the U.S. Military, NASA and others, it now available in a new improved model. Orbiter's new size fits homes (link to Spec page) and anywhere space is a premium.


Enjoy the benefits of walking, jogging and running on a treadmill, without the shock of high impact.

Let an Orbiter treadmill with trampoline surface do something special for you.

The American Medical Association Says:

"Walking is a good exercise
for relieving the pain and stiffness of arthritis.
You should avoid high-impact exercises
such as jogging, tennis, or step aerobics
because they can put too much pressure
on your joints and can worsen your symptoms."

Orbiter has helped persons suffering from injury or pain due to:


Orbiter is used extensively in home exercise fitness programs, and is a standard in leading physical therapy protocol.

Many physical therapists prefer Orbiter's therapeutic surface to aquatic exercise.  

Orbiter has also helped with such collateral issues such as:

 Runners Knee, depression, and weight loss.

The Orbiter can help, because Orbiters are different from all other treadmills.

Extinguishing Pain on Treadmills


More On Pain from



Originally published in Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Please visit the Mayo Clinic Webite and Bookstore:

Last updated June 10, 1999.


As early as 6,000 years ago, Sumerian healers used opium, a drug derived from the poppy plant, to relieve pain. Today, researchers know that your brain has special receptors for morphine-like substances.

Morphine, a potent narcotic painkiller used to treat acute pain and pain associated with terminal illness, is derived from opium.

Researchers also know that your brain and spinal cord make their own morphine-like pain relievers, called endorphins (en-DOR-fins) and enkephalins (en-KEF-uh-lins). When they attach to morphine receptors, these natural pain relievers help relay "stop-pain" messages back to the site of tissue damage.


You can stimulate the release of endorphins through aerobic exercise. Duration of exercise appears to be more important than intensity. Doing low-intensity aerobic exercises for 30 to 45 minutes at a time, five or six days a week, may produce an effect. Be sure to build up slowly. Even exercising three or four days a week may produce some effect.


You should have a complete medical evaluation before beginning any exercise program that is more vigorous than walking if:
You are age 40 or older.
You have been sedentary.
You have risk factors for coronary artery disease.
You have chronic health problems



Types and characteristics of pain

In general, doctors divide pain into two general categories--acute and chronic.

Acute--Acute pain is temporary, related to the physical sensation of tissue damage. It can last from a few seconds to several months, but generally subsides as normal healing occurs. Examples include a burn, a fracture, an overused muscle, or pain after surgery. Cancer pain may be long-lasting but acute due to ongoing tissue damage.


Chronic--Chronic pain lingers long beyond the time of normal healing. Some chronic pain is due to damage or injury to nerve fibers themselves (neuropathic pain). Although it may begin as acute pain, neuropathic pain often develops gradually and becomes chronic pain that's difficult to treat.


Chronic pain can result from diseases, such as shingles and diabetes, or from trauma, surgery or amputation (phantom pain). It can also occur without a known injury or disease. Like a gate that's blocked open, nerves continue to send pain messages even though there is no continuing tissue damage.


Chronic pain ranges from mild to disabling and can last from a few months to many years. Significant emotional and psychological components may develop. The essential ingredient is that the chronic pain changes your behavior.


For example:
You experience the actual physical sensation of acute pain--the immediate, sharp stab in arthritic finger joints as you try to open a lid. Next is the emotional response--your anger and frustration with fumbling fingers. Eventually, behavior changes may occur. You may avoid using aching fingers and hands. Your hands become weak from inactivity, and you depend on others for assistance.

Chronic pain can result in lowered self-esteem, sadness, anger and depression. Over the long term, a sense of helplessness to control chronic pain can lead you to develop characteristic "pain behavior." Behavioral changes can become habitual--crutches that can undermine your ability to effectively manage your pain (see "Caution: Pain behavior can become addicting").

Above article originally published in Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Please visit the Mayo Clinic Website and Bookstore:

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