Do you have difficulty walking? A wheeled assistive device might help. However, there are many types of assistive devices out there such as gait trainer walker. In this article, we explore the criteria of who is most suitable for using a gait trainer and what to consider when buying a gait trainer walker.
What Is A Gait Trainer
A gait trainer is an assistive wheeled device to help patients with user mobility difficulties. Gait refers to the manner in which you walk. People with an abnormal gait may have difficulty walking and are at greater risk of getting injured. This is because persons with abnormal gait usually put repeated pressure on the wrong muscles and are more likely to trip and fall.
A Gait trainer is not to be confused with a walker. While the frame of a gait trainer might also be known as a walker, and when a walker has extra supporting accessories attached to it, it is known as a gait trainer. However, they are not the same thing and are suitable for different people with different needs.
Who Is Most Suitable For Gait Trainers
Gait trainers are designed for people who are unable to bear their full weight through their legs yet. They generally come with more support such as a seat, forearm support, trunk pads etc to help support the user’s weight. Gait trainers are focused on helping patients build strength, promote motor learning so they can walk with greater independence.
Things To Consider When Buying Gait Trainers
When buying a gait trainer it is important to get the right sized gait trainer. The success of using a gait trainer is also dependent on working with a proper sized trainer.
Gait trainers usually come in various sizes to accommodate both children and adults.
Gait trainers have three types of frames: anterior, posterior and full.
An anterior gate trainer means that the gait trainer is placed in front of the patient when they move forward.
Posterior gate trainers are behind the user and consists of handlebars for the users to hold.
Full frame gait trainers are versatile, they can be adjusted to be posterior or anterior. However, they are also usually more expensive.
Types of mobility are ambulatory, semi-ambulatory and non-ambulatory.
An ambulatory person is someone who is able to walk with minimal support.
Someone who is semi-ambulant is one who has experienced permanent or temporary reduction in mobility but is still able to walk with assistance.
A non-ambulatory person cannot walk or stand without help.
As such depending on the user’s mobility, different support attachments will be needed to help the person walk independently.