Helen Hayes Hospital


Route 9W
West Haverstraw, NY 10993
Body Weight Supported GAIT Training
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Body Weight Supported Gait Training

Body-Weight-Supported-Gait-Training-sm-fullAdvances in research suggest that functional neuro-recovery offers tremendous potential in rehabilitation medicine. The rewiring of neural pathways or the recruitment of new pathways to control movement offer hope for the restoration of function following traumatic injury.

To harness this potential, HHH offers body weight supported gait training using the state-of-the-art TheraStride system. The training is available to both inpatients and outpatients with incomplete spinal cord injury, as well as to patients with traumatic brain injury and stroke and other neurological conditions.

We now know that the central nervous system is malleable and can still adjust and relearn post-injury. Body weight supported gait training is an activity-based rehabilitative strategy that provides the sensory experience of walking, with the goal of re-training neural pathways, ultimately resulting in ambulation.

The TheraStride combines a support harness system and a treadmill with computer software that measures and evaluates the patient’s progress. Trained physical therapists provide the necessary manual assistance, facilitating extension of the hip, knee, and ankle. Following step training using body weight support on a treadmill, the patient then progresses to over-ground walking training and finally to community ambulation training.

This training helps to improve balance, motor control, weight-bearing ability and the re-creation of a natural gait. It also increases endurance and speed.