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Each year more than 700,000 people experience a stroke and some may never regain the ability to walk like they once did. But thanks to a new research study initiated by BIR, our stroke patients are learning how to walk correctly, without developing gait problems that are common to many stroke patients.
The approach, known as “locomotor treadmill training with partial body weight support,” consists of a treadmill outfitted with a harness, in which the patient is secured to the harness to support a portion of their body weight while walking on the treadmill. In this reduced weight environment, the patient can relearn how to walk in a safe and controlled manner. Once the patient becomes stronger, more body weight is added until they can comfortably walk on their own without the need for assistance.
The results of this BIR study appeared in the April 2008 issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. After completing the pilot study, all seven of the patients enrolled were able to walk again with a normal gait pattern, all without the use of even a cane.
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