Gait / Balance / Posture

Gait

Gait refers to HOW you walk.

What is your posture like when you walk?

What is happening at the foot/ankle/knee/hip/back/neck?

What are your arms doing when you walk?

When examining your gait, our physical therapist takes all these factors into account to determine the best treatment approach to improve your walking.

Whether you have begun to slow down or needed to start using a cane or walker, our physical therapists are trained to identify the most important factors effecting your walking and the most efficient therapy program to help you improve.

Gait problems can result from a wide variety of issues. Pain or limitation in any of your joints, back pain, Parkinson’s Disease or other movement disorders, balance dysfunction and poor posture are just some of the things that might be contributing to your problem.

As Movement Specialists our job is to figure it all out and help you improve. You set the goal, we help you achieve it.

Gait training involves retraining the patient to improve their ability to walk as close to normal as possible. This training may involve:

  • Stretching
  • Strengthing
  • Endurance exercise
  • Balance exercises
  • Postural retraining
  • Visual/video training with feedback
  • Verbal cues to improve walking patterns
  • Training on different surfaces (grass, stairs, pavement, uneven surfaces)
  • There are a number of patients that can benefit from gait training including:
  • Post-surgical hip, knee, ankle, foot patients
  • Post-fracture patients
  • Post-surgical spine surgery patients
  • Patients with injuries to joints
  • Patients with spinal cord injuries
  • Vestibular/vertigo patients
  • Neurologically involved patients
  • Patients at risk for falls
  • Stroke patients
  • Numerous others

Balance

Poor balance is one of the main complaints of the aging population...and with good reason. As we age our balance gets worse.

However, there is much you can do to improve your balance.

Like a muscle, balance can be improved with training. The key is figuring out what to work on and the safest and best way to do it. That’s where the Movement Specialists at Forward PT can help. We design an individualized program for each patient based on their specific limitations and needs.

To help us figure out what needs to be done we use COMPUTERIZED BALANCE ASSESSMENTS.

What exactly is a Computerized Balance Assessment?

Using advanced technology such as the Biodex Balance System your physical therapist can test your balance to:

  1. Set a baseline against which to measure your progress
  2. Determine what directions your balance is most limited
  3. Create a personalized balance training program to help you improve your balance and prevent falls

Many people seek help with their balance AFTER they fall. However, our goal is to help you improve your balance and PREVENT falls from happening in the first place.

If you have noticed your balance worsening or walking becoming more difficult, don’t wait until you fall to see a Movement Specialist. Schedule an assessment with one of our Movement Specialists to see how we can help you do the things you love to do...without so much fear of falling.

If you are interested in learning more about balance and fall prevention, request our FREE report “Discover The Secrets To Improving Your Balance And Preventing Falls”

Posture

Poor posture is one of the most common problems. Unfortunately, years go by before it starts to cause noticeable problems.

  • Pain in the neck/back
  • Limited shoulder mobility or shoulder pain
  • Poor balance
  • Difficulty walking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hunched appearance
  • Looking shorter
  • Etc.

These are just some of the effects of poor posture.

You may think there is nothing to be done about poor posture but that is not true!

Often, poor posture is correctable. With the correct exercises and posture training you will become more aware of your posture and better at correcting it.

One thing is for sure. Gravity is always pulling you down. If you do nothing to fight it, you will definitely lose the battle!

At Forward PT, our Movement Specialists treat people with poor posture EVERY DAY. We take the time to figure out how and why your posture is worsening and come up with a plan to improve it.

In all honesty, fixing bad posture is not as simple as taking a pill or getting a massage. It won’t even be fixed by a quick mobilization or manipulation of the spine (even if you hear that satisfying “pop”!). It requires you to participate in the treatment and be consistent with your Home Exercise Program.

That said, it is not too difficult and we see a huge number of successful patients with truly amazing results.

If you are tired of hunching over (or having your spouse tell you to stand up straight!) the Movement Specialists at Forward PT are the best team to get you standing up straight.

If you are interested in learning more about Posture, and what you can do to improve yours, register for our FREE posture workshop.

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