Gait Training

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Gait training or gait rehabilitation is the act of learning how to walk, either as a child, or, more frequently, after sustaining an injury or disability. Normal human gait is a complex process, which happens due to coordinated movements of the whole of the body, requiring the whole Central Nervous System - the brain and spinal cord, to function properly.

Any disease process affecting the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves emerging from them supplying the muscles, or the muscles itself can cause deviations of gait. The process of relearning how to walk is generally facilitated by Physiatrists or Rehabilitation medicine (PM&R) consultants, physical therapists or physiotherapists , along with occupational therapists and other allied specialists. The most common cause for gait impairment is due to an injury of one or both legs. Gait training is not simply re-educating a patient on how to walk, but also includes an initial assessment of their gait cycle - Gait analysis, creation of a plan to address the problem, as well as teaching the patient on how to walk on different surfaces. Assistive devices and splints (orthosis) are often used in gait training, especially with those who have had surgery or an injury on their legs, but also with those who have balance or strength impairments as well.