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Partial weight bearing gait therapy

  • Partial weight bearing gait therapy

    Partial Weight Bearing (PWB) gait therapy, also called Body Weight Supported (BWS) gait therapy, is a method of supporting the body to facilitate walking.

    It is a particularly effective rehabilitation technique for those who have experienced the following conditions:

    • stroke
    • brain injury
    • spinal cord injury
    • Parkinson's disease
    • multiple sclerosis
    • adult cerebral palsy

    PWB gait therapy enables the therapist to assist the patient in regaining the ability to walk by:

    • reducing weight-bearing loads
    • providing a safe environment free from falls
    • supporting optimal upright posture
    • beginning gait training much earlier in the rehabilitation process
    • beginning gait training at a lower level of ability
    • allowing correction of improper walking patterns.

    Benefits of PWB gait therapy

    Benefits associated with PWB gait therapy include:

    • improved gait speed
    • improved balance
    • improved efficiency of gait
    • increased ability to walk for longer distances.

    To initiate PWB gait therapy, the patient must have a referral from a physician for a physical therapy evaluation. After the referral is made, a qualified physical therapist will perform an evaluation to determine if the patient is an appropriate candidate for PWB gait therapy.

    If the patient is a candidate for this therapy, he/she will be assessed on the PWB system and monitored closely for any adverse reactions. A therapist will then work with the patient to establish an appropriate treatment plan.