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Thread: Gait Training

  1. #1
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    Gait Training

    Could someone please explain to me the difference between gait training and being in a harness and walking on the treadmill.

  2. #2
    Senior Member giambjj's Avatar
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    gait-training

    Sounds the same to me!

  3. #3
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    just a guess, but-

    maybe the only difference would be the amount of help the person in the harness needs to place the feet correctly. Why do you ask?

  4. #4
    Judy, having done both here's how I would describe the difference.

    1. Supported treadmill training or eliptical training both include a harness. With the treadmill at least two assistants are used to simulate the walking motion. With the eliptical no walking assistance is needed only harnessing. I currently use the eliptical for patterning.

    2. Gait training in my mind means no harness. I use leg (KAFO) braces and a walker. By pushing down on the walker I lift my legs (locked in a straight position) and swing through to the next step. Think tripod. Arms are two 'legs' of the tripod and both legs are one 'leg' of tripod. A great upper body workout and psychological rush (standing) but not very efficient or functional. Nor is it reflective of natural walking / gaiting and therefore imo pretty worthless.

    Other gait training may include arm crutches, various braces. Hip flexion and other motor skills alter the definition. Gaiting is maybe, technically, "walking" but I consider it more like lifting and dragging. Whereas supported ambulatory training with the harness simulates walking more realistically.

    Again, my $.02 from having done both. Does that answer your question?

    Onward and Upward!

  5. #5
    Judy, I'm closing the thread here, and moving it over to the Care forum, where perhaps you'll get more responses.

    Chris, thank you for your prompt reply.

    _____________
    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  6. #6
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    Gait Training

    Thank You Marmalady for moving post to right forum, Chris thank you for your answer, makes sense to me now the difference of the two. Kate is ask because today my sons friend Cody (T9) started gate training at Project Walk. This is his third day there, he started out the first two days on the treadmill with a harness, but Ted talked to Cody and told him he was strong enough to go to Gate Training today. If fact Ted told Cody that is strength and muscle tone in legs was as good or better than some who had been at PW a year. Cody had been doing Pt 3 times a week, riding a FES bike and electric stimulation, plus KAFO braces and walker back here in MO. before going to PW. Ted feels Cody has a high percenr for improvement, Overall Cody and his mom Denise are impressed and amazed at the working of PW. He will be there a total of 3 weeks and then will have to make the decision whether to go back. There seemed to be several people there who post of care/cure. Hearing a lot of talk about Dr. Lima. Will keep posting Codys input on PW. Thanks Judy K

  7. #7
    Chris explained it well. Thanks. PLG

  8. #8
    Senior Member mk99's Avatar
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    "gait training... A great upper body workout and psychological rush (standing) but not very efficient or functional. Nor is it reflective of natural walking / gaiting and therefore imo pretty worthless."

    For the most part I agree. In my opinion, however, certainly not worthless.

    I think that it's better for your bones to do this than only to use a standing frame. Standing frame only stands but this is actually loading & unloading leg bones over and over as you move... it is certainly VERY good exercise and pretty much the only intense exercise one can do while in a non-sitting position.

  9. #9
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    chris

    when you spoke of using kafo's, did you mean you literally swing both legs simultaneously? I have been doing gait training using kafo's and canes, I step normally, I have near total flexion in the ankle(not solid 90 degree angle)with a slight bend in the knee. I so far have gotten my distance up to a solid 150 yards/meters in a half hour. Right now I treat my daily walking excersizes as I used to treat my 2-3 hour mountain bike rides. Equally intense to be sure. Really, I don't get too physically tired, but mentally. I get up off the ground if I fall, and I only need one cane to stand up vertically from being bent at the waist. Right now this isn't very functional as far as daily practicality, although I do walk around the house, stand to pump my own gas, and I walk from my truck in and out of the gym where I am training. Do these skills sound familiar? Are these the type of skills you incorporate when using you own kafo's? Also, are you able to crawl with any efficiency? I am wondering because these are some of the things I went through and currently, there are two C5-6 quads crawling regularly and starting to use their leg braces. As well there are 4-5 paras. One of them was at craig and is doing great. His name is Matt Weiffles. Anyway, just some questions if you feel like answering. THanks.

  10. #10
    Chris, I really disagree with your distinction of what constitutes gait training and what doesn't. It does not jive with my own experience. I am relearning to walk .. I now walk functionally out in the world with a walker and without braces of any kind. I'm up to walking with a cane, but if I fall, I can't get up like you can, gpbullock.

    My experience of gait training has been retraining the locomotor patterning to regain as "normal" a gait pattern as possible: where I land on my heel, absorb a bit of shock with my knee, roll my foot, push off my toes, lift my leg with the hip flexor and my toe with the dorsiflexor, and bring it forward for the next heel strike.

    I started training this suspended in the LiteGate with someone helping my right leg .. my left is stronger and hasn't needed much help. There are two advantages to suspended gait training .. one is that as you tire, you keep going longer by reducing the weight your legs are carrying .. the other is if you screw up, the harness catches you. Falling is a drag!

    Once I got strong enough, I could work with a KAFO on my right leg. With my knee locked, I had to circumduct my hip to advance my foot, hardly natural, but all I could do. Later, I could use the KAFO unlocked. It would stabilize my knee when it was straight but let it bend when I brought it forward. When I got stronger, I dumped the KAFO for an AFO, and then nothing.

    Maybe Project Walk has specific things they call gait training different from this. My point is that you can do natural gait training either suspended or not, and you can do stuff unsuspended that's not natural too, like "tripod walking".

    - Bruc

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