If you suffered a spinal cord injury or SCI due to someone else’s negligence, you may experience difficulty performing basic tasks. If you have an incomplete SCI, you may have more of a chance to regain your walking ability, as opposed to a person who suffered from a complete SCI.
No matter the type of SCI that you have, therapies such as gait training can assist those with complete and incomplete SCIs, explains the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center.
What is gait training?
When you begin gait training, you may use a variety of pieces of equipment to aid you. For instance, you may use parallel bars, body-weight support devices or a pool to hold yourself up. Robotic devices can help you through gait training or you may have a therapy team to help you relearn to walk. In later gait training, you may be able to hold yourself up without the use of support devices.
How do you qualify for gait training?
If you meet with a physician or a physical therapist, he or she can analyze whether gait training is the right approach for you. He or she will test your standing ability, your sensation, strength and stiffness. He or she will also examine the range of motion in your ankles, hips, knees and your trunk. If you can take small steps, the doctor will have to monitor you.
There are assistive devices available to protect you while learning to walk. These devices protect your joints from injury. Gait training is a long process and it may have to begin with pre-gait activities such as balance before you can begin the treatment.