Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training (BWSTT)
Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training (BWSTT) is a gait training strategy that involves the unloading of the lower extremities by supporting a percentage of body weight. The strategy utilizes an overhead suspension system to support a percentage of the patient's body weight as the patient walks on a treadmill. Additionally, BWSTT allows therapists to safely initiate gait training earlier in the rehabilitation process.
Providing a dynamic and task-specific approach, BWSTT:
- Integrates essential components of gait; upright posture, weight-bearing, swing-phase (stepping), and balance.
- Facilitates symmetrical gait patterns.
- Discourages the development of compensatory strategies that are often seen in gait training with walking aides, which may promote an asymmetrical gait pattern.
- Provides immediate feedback to the patient and often increases their motivation and participation.
Current studies demonstrate that the use of BWSTT leads to a better recovery of ambulation, with effects on over-ground walking speed, endurance, and physical assistance required to walk.
Patients appropriate for treatment
Patients with Gait Disturbances
- Generalized or Focal Muscular Weakness
- Gait asymmetry
- Balance disturbances
- Poor Gait Quality
- Potential Diagnostic Categories
- Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Parkinson's Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
The AutoAmbulator is a sophisticated treadmill device unparalleled in its ability to help patients replicate normal walking patterns. Using the therapeutic concept of body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT) and robotics, the AutoAmbulator simulates normal walking motion.
Whether an individual has been recently injured or has been unable to walk for years, the AutoAmbulator may be used to improve function. Patients referred to Braintree Rehabilitaiton Hospital for treatment as a result of a gait disorder have the opportunity to ambulate in a safe environment sooner than they would in a traditional rehabilitation program.
Designed with numerous safety features, the AutoAmbulator holds a patient upright while robotic braces move the patient's legs across a treadmill. Intelligent programs power the AutoAmbulator through its integrated computer system, while sensors track numerous functions, continually monitoring and adjusting power and speed according to each patient's physical requirements.
- Allows the patient to contribute to the movement but provides remaining force to generate the movement
- Synchronized robotic legs allow patients to walk safely, utilizing normal gait patterns
- Designed to allow therapists to safely adjust the amount of weight bearing to each patient's individual rehabilitation plan
- Speed of walking can be varied to patient's tolerance and gradually increase to reproduce gait patterns that simulate normal walking
- To eliminate risk of injury, safety features automatically shut down the machine when an adverse event occurs, such as a severe spasm or if the patient's foot improperly strikes the treadmill
One step at a time: Teen injured in crash shows painstaking progress
Will Roche is walking, with the help of an AutoAmbulator.
The unique design of the LiteGait allows a single individual to move patients comfortably, in a fall-free environment, from sitting to standing as well as to walk. The support of the device enables both the patient and the therapist to concentrate on the therapy session much earlier in the rehabilitation process. LiteGait is like a second set of hands, because it frees the therapist to observe gait patterns and make manual adjustments in limb placement, weight shift, walking symmetry and gait timing. Proper upright posture is maintained throughout the training session, which facilitates changes in posture, balance, specific muscular strength and overall gait patterns. The LiteGait can be used over ground or in conjunction with a treadmill.
- Obtain supported suspension for safer, more effective gait training
- Achieve controlled reduction of weight bearing load
- Comfortably walk in an environment free from falls
- Increase or decrease the weight bearing load on the weaker side of the body
- Learn to walk with proper upright posture
- Use an assistive device while being supported over ground
- Begin gait training much earlier in the rehabilitation process, and at a lower level of function
- Have improved interaction with the therapist
- Experience a sense of accomplishment by successfully completing therapy sessions
Lite Gait Locations