Balance and gait training refers to a type of physical therapy aimed at improving the functionality of lower extremities.
Balance is how well you can maintain your stability as you stand and move. In short, it’s what keeps you from falling over and helps you move in the direction you mean to.
Gait refers to how you walk. The cycle of your gait is the series of motions that starts when you pick up your foot; it continues through moving your foot forward, placing it on the ground and then picking it up again to take another step.
Injuries and medical conditions can impact your balance and your gait. For example, if you hurt your ankle, your gait may change. You might favor one leg over the other because of pain. This could also impact your balance.
That’s a simple example, but it helps you see how habits developed because of injury impact balance and gait. The strength, range of motion and functionality of your feet, ankles, legs, knees and hips — or lack thereof — also play a role in your balance and gait.
Physical therapy with balance and gait training can help rebuild that strength, range of motion and functionality and provide patients with the tools needed to shed poor habits and adopt healthier ones for better mobility.