A child's level of mobility is evaluated by a Physical Therapist to help determine the methods and strategies that will be necessary in the development of an effective gait training program. Balance will be assessed, as a child's disturbance in balance can interfere with their ability to safely walk, run, jump and climb stairs. We analyze the dynamic features of gait, such as velocity, stride length, cadence, and asymmetry. Through the use of play as well as specific exercises designed for the child, the physical therapist improves strength, endurance, range of motion and posture. Improvement in walking, running, and jumping improves independence and self esteem. After a detailed gait evaluation to pin point specific gait deviations, an appropriate gait training program is initiated. We provide ongoing education and training for parents and children.
Locations for Physical Therapy Intervention
Upon thorough evaluation, gait training may only be a small part of the overall treatment program. At our Outpatient Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Center in Braintree, the family can draw from a clinical team comprised of a: Board Certified Physical Medical and Rehabilitation Physician (Physiatrist), Registered Pediatric Physical Therapist, Certified Orthotist. Additionally, the Pediatric Center has advanced treatment equipment to facilitate gait training.
Gait training with the Lite Gait™ partial weight bearing device enables supported suspension of the child for safe and efficient gait training. Using the Lite Gait, the child is able to walk without therapist facilitation and support. The therapist may control the amount of the weight-bearing load based on the child's strength and control of movement, to optimize the child's feeling of success. In addition, the child can experience walking at a near normal speed without the fear of falling. Also, the therapist's hands are free so that if necessary, they can facilitate leg placement during walking on the treadmill. Progression is possible by increasing load or by discontinuing the harness for the child to use the handrails only.
TheraTogs are made from a patented, proprietary material with an inner foam layer that grips the skin and the underlying soft tissues, and a Velcro®-sensitive outer layer to which clinicians can affix elastic strapping, the "external muscle" of the system. The material is comfortable and breathable, and the typical TheraTogs configuration is worn under normal clothing. TheraTogs replicates successful manual sensorimotor training techniques, allowing the wearer to engage in routine activities with improved joint alignment, all day long.
TheraTogs apply prolonged, low-load (gentle) forces to the musculoskeletal system to effect changes in muscle recruitment strategies, and, with full-time use, in muscle physiology and bone geometry. To gain optimum posture and function, thousands or repetitions of movements must occur in optimum alignment. TheraTogs accomplishes this by wrapping the torso in a Velcro-sensitive garment that serves as a "strapping field," allowing the clinician or caregiver to attach straps that work like external muscles to improve postural alignment and stability, and potentially address a wide variety of functional alignment and movement issues. For example, for a child with ataxia, hypotonia, athetosis, weakness and balance issues, in-toed and out-toed gait, muscle imbalance, postural mal-alignment and joint laxity may benefit.
- Bone and joint development in infants and young children
- Body awareness and postural stability
- Resting and functional joint alignment
- Motor performance during therapy sessions following orthopedic injury, stroke or brain injury, or orthopedic or neurosurgery
- Between session participation in the home therapy environment
Locations for the Lite Gait™ and TheraTogs