For years, clinical studies have demonstrated that partial weight bearing treadmill training can assist patients with neurological conditions, especially Parkinson’s, in improving their walking ability and speed. The key is the ability to walk with a corrected gait pattern at fast enough speeds to stimulate brain neuroplasticity, the reconnecting or rebuilding of new neural pathways.
Observed gait improvements during partial weight bearing treadmill training have been profound:
- Reduced drop foot, corrected hip circumduction and enhanced stride
- Increased walking speeds of up to 51%
- Improved arm swing, trunk rotation and overall smoothness of movement
- Improvements that carry over to walking on ground for hours to days
The ability to tap into the plasticity of the brain and encourage motor learning is the key to any neurological rehabilitation program. The GlideTrak’s unique unweighting technology takes Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training to new levels. Enabling neurological patients to work longer and more comfortably, the result of neurological rehabilitation with the GlideTrak is greater progress when practicing skills needed for standing and walking.
The key is training without weight to move rapidly and as correctly as possible without the burdens of gravity reinforcing compensatory behaviors that can actually inhibit functional recovery. After some practice unweighted in the pelvic support system, walking practice with the balance or safety harness will embed functional gains through practice.
It is best to train as long as possible at least once in the morning and once at night. In the past, this type of therapy was only available with expensive and uncomfortable harness systems which can restrict normal walking gait or speed and have such limited unweighting capabilities that sustained aerobic exercise is virtually impossible. Other unweighting products have limited support and are cost prohibitive.