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Thread: Gait training advice and tips please

  1. #1

    Gait training advice and tips please

    I use the up n free easy walker to practice walking. It has a bicycle seat and waist strap to keep me pretty secure. Benefit, I can practice walking through the house for over an hour without a spotter. The bicycle seat surely isn't promoting natural walking but it is allowing me to practice safely. I have been thinking of going back to trying a regular walker, I see it being beneficial promoting more natural movement of my legs, but no safety net. This week I went to a small park with a track and practiced with the up n free. The track is not level like walking inside and the up n free turns easily to the left or right so not easy to control and must still be spotted for safety. I focus on distance, but wondering if I should just focus on taking a few steps and more on controlling it. The up n free is great, but the bicycle seat, maybe in the big picture isn't the answer? The regular walker only has two front wheels and wouldn't be so hard to control outside, but it would feel a bit more unsecure.

    The up n free has it's benefits, but if I want to walk stronger and more natural, what steps can I take to make it happen?

    Thank you for your help.


  2. #2
    Do you have access to walking in a pool (one with parallel bars inside the pool would be best)? This is a good safe way to start working on a more natural gait pattern with the advantage of the support of the water and less concerns about falling.


  3. #3
    Pool is great.

    Can you find a PT clinic near you or a public/private gym that you can join that has an AlterG (body weight supported anti-gravity treadmill)? My father pays a reasonable fee to use one at a local Novacare PT branch. You can also ask your doctor to write a script for PT for "gait training" and use the AlterG under the direction of a PT.

    There are several in Florida. Are any near you?

  4. #4
    I don't have access to aqua therapy, it seems like it would be very beneficial to progress. I live in the middle of the state, all of those location are a few hours off. I will keep trying ideas

  5. #5
    Check with your local MS Society chapter. They often offer pool therapy. Ask them where they do it. You would not need to go to a specific therapy program...just a pool that you can access, and that has the parallel bars. Ask them where they hold their classes. They even have something like this at our local YMCA for their arthritis swim program.


  6. #6
    I just looked it up and only 3 show up in Florida, the closest still a few hours away. If there was one nearby, would it be available to me since I don't have ms?

  7. #7
    Not suggesting you join their classes but just find out what pool they use. The YMCA might be a better option...what town are you in/near?


  8. #8
    The closest place to my small town is fort myers, i will check into the ymca. How many times a week do you think would make a difference? I mean if it's 45 minutes or more away I couldn't go much more than 1x a week. Do you think it would be worth it? Do you know of any portable type paralell bars that would work in a standard pool?

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Sci-Nurse a great list of resources, thank you!

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