What Is Gait Training?
Gait training is a technique in physical therapy, able to help improve your ability to stand and walk. An important goal of gait training is helping to prevent falls in the future. Gait training may be recommended if you’ve had an injury or illness that affects your ability to get around. Even if you need an adaptive device, gait training may help you gain independence in walking.
Gait training helps to:
- Strengthen muscles and joints
- Improve balance and posture
- Build endurance
- Develop muscle memory
- Retrain legs for repetitive motion
- Lower the risk of falls
- Increase mobility
Gait training may assist in lowering your risk of other illnesses, as well. By increasing your physical activity and mobility, your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis is reduced! Choosing gait training over immobility may help preserve and improve your overall health.
What Does Gait Training Consist Of?
Gait training may be used in conjunction with other forms of physical therapy and treatments, and your joints must be strong enough to support gait training before you begin.
Once healthy enough to start gait training, your physical therapist will assist you in gait training exercises as well as utilize machines that help you walk safely. Your therapist can help support your body weight, provide stability, and offer other necessary assistance.
Walking on a treadmill and completing muscle strengthening activities are elements of gait training. You may need to wear a harness while walking on a treadmill or doing other exercises. Additionally, your therapist may have you practice lifting your legs, sitting down, standing up, or stepping over objects.
Your particular diagnosis and abilities will determine the type, intensity, and duration of your gait training. At Oklahoma Hand and Physical Therapy, we don’t believe in a one size fits all therapy. Our therapists work to customize treatments to your specific needs.
Who Can Benefit From Gait Training?
If you’ve lost your ability to walk, due to injury, illness, or other health condition, gait training may be right for you. The following conditions can contribute to difficulty in walking:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken legs
- Broken pelvis
- Joint injuries or replacements
- Neurological disorders
- Lower limb amputations
- Muscular dystrophy
- Other musculoskeletal disorders
Children requiring gait therapy often have neurological disorders, musculoskeletal issues, or brain injuries. Gait training may be recommended for these children before or after they begin walking.
While gait training can be tough, it can be beneficial in the long run for the health of both your body and mind! Our physical therapists are ready to help you get back on your feet. Give us a call today!