If you frequently notice an imbalance, dizziness, or unsteadiness that makes you feel as if you may fall over at any given time, it is a sign that you may be living with a gait disorder. Gait issues typically develop from one of the following conditions:
Injury or ailment
Even if your brain and nervous system are working in harmony with one another, a sudden injury, disease, or other ailment causing muscle weakness can interfere with your balance and make it difficult to keep yourself upright.
This may include Parkinson’s disease, brain injury, or stroke. Anything that affects your neurological system can also impact your balance.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
This occurs when calcium debris breaks off in the inner ear, causing issues with balance.
Our gait assessment will determine 1) if you are living with a gait disorder, and 2) what the root cause of your gait disorder is.
If our Austin, TX physical therapist determines that you are indeed living with a gait disorder, he or she will get you started on a gait training treatment plan. Gait training will include activities to not only improve gait mechanics, but also increase your confidence and safety in navigating across different terrains and around different obstacles. Our physical therapists will also evaluate your need for an assistive device, or perhaps make modifications to a device you are currently using.
Both static and dynamic balance training will likely also be incorporated into your physical therapy treatment to help your body learn how to better respond to environmental challenges to your balance. For example, you may be asked to stand on one leg while performing a mentally-challenging task, such as reciting the alphabet or reading a paragraph of text out loud. Our physical therapists will also teach you balance strategies to help mitigate fall risk.
Endurance training may also be used, not just to improve muscle endurance for activity, but also to improve aerobic capacity for activity, both of which will reduce fatigue as a risk factor for falls when walking or completing daily tasks.
Get started on your gait training today!
Do you think you could benefit from gait training? Contact Austin Manual Therapy Associates today! Request a consultation with one of our Austin, TX physical therapists, so you can get started on the first steps to moving at your best ability!