Gait rehabilitation or Gait training is a form of physical therapy that helps the patient regain their ability to walk and stand.
If you recently suffered from a stroke or an injury that has impaired your ability to move around, your doctor might recommend gait rehabilitation.
How Does Gait Rehabilitation Help?
Gait training helps a patient in the following ways:
- Improves support of body mass by lower limbs
- Strengthen muscles and joints
- Helps the body regain dynamic balance and control
- Reduces the risk of falls while increasing your mobility
- Increases the ability to adapt the movement to the changing environment and goal
- Build endurance and develop muscle memory
Gait rehabilitation also reduces the risk of developing other complications, such as osteoporosis and heart disease by improving the patient physical activity and mobility.
What’s Involved in Gait Rehabilitation?
The primary role of gait rehabilitation is to reduce the risk of falling while walking because of reduced mobility or instability.
Before starting the rehabilitation program, your physician will ensure you’re in a comfortable condition to handle exercises.
During the first few weeks, you will perform the exercises under the supervision of your physical therapist, but over time you will learn to do them on your own. However, this depends on your physical condition and unique needs.
Exercises Involved in Gait Rehabilitation
Most gait rehabilitation exercises aim to improve your balance and coordination as well as strengthen your muscles. These activities include:
- Standing up
- Lifting your leg
- Stepping over objects
- Sitting down
- Walking on treadmill
Who Can Benefit from Gait Rehabilitation?
Doctors often recommend gait rehabilitation to individuals who have lost their ability to walk because of a health condition or injury. Here’s a list of condition that can cause walking difficulties:
- Broken legs or pelvis
- Stroke or neurological disorders
- Lower limb amputations
- Joint replacements or injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscular dystrophy or other musculoskeletal disorders
Kids who need gait therapy usually have musculoskeletal issues, neurological disorders, or brain injuries. Usually, doctors recommend gait training as soon as they walk.
Gait rehabilitation is no simple task, and it might take a while before you re-learn how to walk again.
But the more you do the exercises, the higher your chances of strengthening your muscles and joints. You will also improve your balance and stability, and within a few months, you will be able to move your legs once again.
Before starting a gait rehabilitation program, talk to your doctor about your specific condition.