When a patient has difficulty walking and is trying to rebuild and strengthen their walking abilities, what is the method of training used?
Gait training is the process where physical therapists strive to help a person regain the ability to walk safely and effectively. Universal Home Care physical therapists are skilled in home exercise programs including gait training and work together with the medical professionals on a patient's team to improve their walking skills in any way possible.
Evaluation is an important part of gait training. In every patient, the difficulties that are impairing normal walking are different. Care must be taken to identify what obstacles need to be overcome in order to regain a normal gait, and to create a plan of care that will strengthen and train the body to walk normally once again.
Muscle strength needs to be improved during gait training to ensure that the patient has sufficient strength to propel themselves safely, and to create stability and balance in their body. Coordination and balance training will also be incorporated to help make sure that walking is as safe as possible.
Many types of aids may be used in gait training. Depending on the nature of the difficulty a person has while walking, some of these aids may be used permanently, while others may provide less of an assist and maybe used temporarily. Parallel bars are often used within a rehab situation to improve gait, but once a patient gains more independence they may start to rely on a walker or a cane.
If pain is an issue that is making walking difficult, Universal Home Care may work with the patient to manage pain at the same time that they train the muscles and joints. The training will help create a body that is less susceptible to pain, while the pain management techniques allow the training to take place.