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. The major concern for most of our parents is that they are worried if their child will walk independently. Walking is not only considered a physical goal but also has cognitive, social and psychological implications.
Walking is freedom!
At Aash we have an activity-based Gait Traning program, the major component of which is the BWSTT.
It’s called a Body Weight Support Treadmill. Bodyweight supported treadmill (BWSTT) training is a task-specific method of retraining or, in young children, developing walking skills. The training uses a suspended harness over a moving treadmill so that the child needn’t bear his own weight while he is concentrating on learning to walk.
BWSTT works for kids with Cerebral Palsy and other developmental delays which mkaes walking independently challenging.
The child can practice for longer periods while freeing the therapist (who would otherwise be supporting that weight herself) to give visual, tactile and verbal encouragement and guidance.
BWSTT also makes it possible for the child to experience feedback provided by both the therapist and the surface to try out different movements and see for himself which ones work better. For example, a child may take smaller steps and actually experience the sensation of a true fall, but without getting hurt. He may then realize it makes more sense to increase his step length and reap the benefits of a more effective stride.
By altering the treadmill’s speed and incline, the therapist can create greater demand for and use of specific muscles, thereby encouraging the child’s healthy overall development.
Current evidence suggests that intensive and prolonged BWSTT may be a safe, effective, and beneficial treatment intervention for the attainment of walking, improvement of gait speed, and improvement of endurance for children with different types and degrees of CP.
We are optimistic and excited to study the effect of BWSTT on the 16 children we train at Aash!