Gait Training Physical Therapy Exercise Types:
There are various types of gait training exercise. They include:
Static Stretching Static stretching is the most common type of gait training exercise. It involves the use of a stretch band or elastic bands. There are different kinds of static stretches which involve specific muscles.
For example, there is the passive stretch (also called active) and the dynamic stretch (also called passive). Passive Stretch Active Stretches Dynamic Stretches
The Benefits of Gait Training Exercise:
It helps to prevent injuries. It improves balance and coordination. It reduces muscle soreness after exercising.
It aids in reducing pain and improving mobility. It is beneficial for people suffering from back problems such as sciatica, lumbar spondylitis, plantar fasciitis etc.
How To Do Gait Training?
You need to choose a suitable time when you will do your gait training exercise. You can start it at any time during the day. It is advisable to begin doing it before going out so that you have enough time to complete all the steps properly. If you want to increase flexibility then it would be better if you perform these exercises at night instead of morning or afternoon. If you wish to speed up the process then you can perform these exercises twice or thrice a day.
Be sure to keep your body warm before starting the exercise. You can go for a short walk or jog for 5-10 minutes. You should wear proper clothing during the routine as it will prevent muscle pain and unnecessary injuries.
Before starting, you need to ensure that you have all the required equipment such as band, ankle weights, resistance tube, etc. It is better if you have a partner to spot you in case you lose your balance during the routine.
It is important to perform all the steps continuously without any breaks. Take a short break after completion of each set.
How Long Does It Take To See Improvements In Gait?
It might take anywhere between a week to months to notice considerable changes in your gait pattern. It mainly depends upon the type of exercise you are performing, whether you are following a specific program or not and also how committed you are towards this routine.
If you are performing these exercises without any prior knowledge or guidance then it might take a little longer for you to see changes in your walking pattern. But, if you have a good knowledge of these exercises and also following a proper plan, then you are likely to notice improvements within a few weeks.
The key to faster results is consistency, so try to follow a proper gait training routine as suggested by your physical therapist or doctor. In addition to this, you can also try some dynamic and static stretches to further enhance the flexibility of your muscles.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Robot assisted gait training with active leg exoskeleton (ALEX) by SK Banala, SH Kim, SK Agrawal… – IEEE transactions on …, 2008 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
Rhythmic auditory stimulation in gait training for Parkinson’s disease patients by MH Thaut, GC McIntosh, RR Rice… – … : official journal of the …, 1996 – Wiley Online Library
Rhythmic facilitation of gait training in hemiparetic stroke rehabilitation by MH Thaut, GC McIntosh, RR Rice – Journal of the neurological sciences, 1997 – Elsevier
Gait training in hemiplegia by KH Mauritz – European journal of Neurology, 2002 – Wiley Online Library
Gait and step training to reduce falls in Parkinson’s disease by EJ Protas, K Mitchell, A Williams, H Qureshy… – …, 2005 – content.iospress.com
Body weight supported gait training: from laboratory to clinical setting by V Dietz – Brain research bulletin, 2008 – Elsevier
Faster is better: implications for speed-intensive gait training after stroke by A Lamontagne, J Fung – Stroke, 2004 – Am Heart Assoc