Firstly, gait refers to the manner in which a person walks. As such, a gait trainer walker is a wheeled device that trains the way you walk. If someone has an abnormal gait, it means that the person’s walking ability is weakened from slight to severe.
A person’s gait can be evaluated by a doctor or a chiropractor. They would usually watch you walk over a few minutes. Having an abnormal gait can be dangerous for someone. With an abnormal gait, a person is at greater risk of getting injured from tripping and falling. A person with an abnormal gait is likely to put repetitive pressure on the wrong muscles.
However, having an abnormal gait is not out of the norm. It is caused by more than fifty diseases and conditions such as arthritis, and can occur in both adults and children.
A gait trainer is a device with wheels. It has a durable frame that typically reaches the patient’s lower or middle torso and is equipped with handles or support harness to help the user stand upright.
The wheels on a gait trainer enable the walker to roll along with the patient. This helps the patient to practise walking while having the sense and movement of walking naturally. Just like walkers, walking practise with a gait trainer walker will help the patient develop muscular strength and motor control to get them closer toward the goal of walking independently.
Gait Trainers come in various sizes that are adjustable such that they cater to both adults and children.
Features of Gait Trainers
Size – When buying a gait trainer, it is important to get the correct sized equipment. This is important for effective and comfortable walking practise for yourself or your loved one.
Framing – Types of framing available are anterior, posterior and full. Anterior framing means as the person moves forward the gait trainer is in front of them. Posterior framing means the trainer is behind the user. Full frame trainers are versatile. They are adjustable and adaptable for anterior and posterior framing preferences.
User Mobility – Gait trainers are useful for people with different mobility struggles. When buying a gait trainer it is important to consider the mobility of the user: ambulatory, semi-ambulant and non-ambulatory. Someone who is ambulatory can walk with little help. A person who is semi-ambulant is someone who experienced reduction in mobility but can walk with assistance. A non-ambulatory person cannot walk or stand without help.
Custom or Standard – customised equipment can be made at higher costs to suit an individual’s particular needs.