Recently Faith's physical therapist has started using the LiteGait Jr gait trainer with her to assist her with building her strength back after surgery. She also is using it with Faith to help her maintain a straighter posture and get a better stretch on her legs as she is taking steps.
(photo courtesy of Mobility Research)
Faith has a bad tendency to walk by bending at the waist and leaning over that in turn make her gait funny. She lifts her legs at the hip instead of bending her knee and making a complete step by extending her legs forward, bending her knee and finishing the step. Kind of like British soldiers march.They have been using the LiteGait with the treadmill, as shown above. They put her in a harness that is suspended on a frame above the treadmill. This allows her to take steps without anyone holding her and allows her P.T. to physically help her step. At first it was very weird for Faith, using a treadmill. She didn't understand that she had to move her legs, so they would just drag behind her until someone moved them for her. But today, she started moving her legs responsively forward. It was great to see her standing straighter and getting a fuller range of motion in her legs as she stepped. She has been getting stronger since surgery but she still suffers with a LOT of tightness in her hip flexors and muscles in her upper calf. She has the look of tightness when she steps especially on that left leg, like she can't extend her leg all the way forward or back when she is standing. It pains me to see her with this problems since she has come so far with her surgery. I have posted a link to the website for LiteGait above with some videos of children and adults using it. I will have to post a video of Faith when I can remember some batteries for the camera. Today she walked for 8 minutes for a total of 226 feet! That's a long way, really! I am so excited about her working with this tool!