The way a person walks, or their “gait,” is as much a part of their individual identity as their fingerprint. Whether they saunter, stroll, or strut, their walk can say a lot about their personality, as well as their health.
Everyone can benefit from a better walk, regardless of whether they are recuperating from an injury or not. Although the benefits of learning proper gait mechanics may save anyone from future injury, most gait training patients are actively recovering from back or leg injuries.
What kind of techniques are learned in gait training?
Gait training addresses many issues with a patient's gate, such as strength, flexibility, and posture. Specialized treatment plans are developed to address the unique issues found during the initial gait study.
What are the signs of poor gait?
Many people develop a poor gate after years of improper body mechanics. Some signs of a problematic gait may include dragging feet, jerky steps, unsteady stance, or shuffling, among others.
Gait training is an important component of many physical therapy plans.
In order to ensure perfect gait mechanics, we use a combination of strength, flexibility and balance training to get the patient to effectively and safely move through space.
Gait training is ESSENTIAL in rehabilitating from any injury/surgery from low back down to the the legs, and even if you are injury free, everyone can benefit from a better walk. The body can alter and compensate your walk throughout a lifetime of “lazy” walking and poor body mechanics. Subtle changes are not only hard to recognize, but also lead to larger mobility issues down the line. At Synergy Physical Therapy, we will identify the problems associated with gait and will provide the appropriate corrective exercises/functional training necessary for improvement.
Don’t wait until an injury
Along with recovery from an injury, gait training can be an important tool for those who would like to preemptively address their unique mobility issues in order to prevent injury in the future. This may include athletes and weekend warriors who are looking to be more agile, kids who are toe walkers, seniors looking to be more steady on their feet, and everyone in between.
With falls being the leading cause of fatal injury among older adults, it’s especially important that seniors maintain proper walking balance and mechanics as they age. Synergy therapists can work with older patients to evaluate their current gait, and create a specialized treatment plan to address strength, flexibility, and posture issues that may lead to mobility problems.
Gait training may be used to help patients with a number of conditions, including: