Manhattan Wellness Group

SPINE | JOINT | NECK | BACK  
PAIN MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST 

Pain Management  .  Chiropractic  .  Acupuncture  .  Physical Therapy  .  Massage Therapy

What is Gait Training?

Gait training is a type of physical therapy that helps people improve their ability to stand and walk. One goal of gait training is preventing falls. Gait training may be recommended after an illness or injury, or even to help a patient regain independence in walking.  Gait training works to strengthen the muscles and joints in the lower body and back.  As a result, patients will improve balance, improve posture, develop muscle memory, build endurance, and prepare the legs for repetitive motion. Gait Training also benefits reduction of other illness, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, through physical activity and movement.

How Does Gait Training Work?

Gait training is usually started as soon as possible after an injury or a health complication. A doctor will prescribe it as part of a physical therapy regimen. Once the patient is deemed healthy enough to start gait training, the process is similar to other physical therapies. Gait training often includes machines that help the patient walk safely. Exercises might include human assistance where therapists can help with support, stability, and other assistance.

Many people undergoing gait training will walk on a treadmill and do strength training. Treadmill trainings often include a harness, but some do not. Other task-specific trainings include stepping over objects, lifting the leg, sitting, and standing. People with specific mobility-affecting issues will get special therapies or exercises. The type of training, intensity, and duration will depend on the individual situation.

What are the Common Uses of Gait Training?

Gait training is an option for anyone who has lost his or her ability to safely get around. Some examples of injuries or illnesses that lead to walking difficulties include spinal cord injuries, stroke, broken legs or pelvis, joint injuries, injuries from accidents, amputation, and knee replacements.Children requiring gait therapy are often suffering from brain injuries, neurological disorders, or musculoskeletal issues. Therapy can occur before they start walking or after they start walking with difficulty.

What can I expect during Gait Training?

Gait training can be hard work, but it is often rewarding! Walking is cardiovascular exercise and helps keep the heart and lungs strong. If you have been immobile, the process of relearning to walk may be physically and mentally challenging. Talk to your therapist about any challenges you are having and our staff can tailor your treatment plan to meet all your needs.

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