Gait is the posture an individual usually assumes when walking normally. A gait trainer is an important walking aid used in physical therapy to help patients gain stability and an upright posture when walking. This is with the aim of regaining a normal walking ability. An abnormal gait could be as a result of stroke, spinal cord injury, and other neurological related cases. In children, it is can be caused by conditions that affect normal development such as cerebral palsy. When an individual is unable to walk normally a gait trainer comes in handy. Selecting the best gait trainers requires the input of a physical therapist or a physician who has had experience with them or a dealer in medical equipment.
|Wenzelite Trekker Gait Trainer
|Inspired by Drive Moxie GT Gait Trainer, Medium
|Wenzelite Luminator Gait Trainer with Posterior or Anterior Option
|Inspired by Drive Nimbo 2G Lightweight Posterior Walker with Seat, Large
|Inspired by Drive Nimbo 2G Lightweight Posterior Walker with Seat, Small
Here is what to consider in order to get the right gait trainer:
Different patients have different levels of weakness in different parts of their body. Once a physician has analyzed his/her condition, he will recommend the right trainer.
Patients have varying conditions, for instance, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injury. When selecting a gait trainer, choose one whose features and accessories match your patient’s needs.
Age & size
These trainers are usually designed for tykes, young adults or adults and they will usually come with specific weight ratings. Some measurements to arm yourself will include your patient’s weight, chest and thigh circumference, and height to elbow measurement.
A person can be ambulatory meaning they can use the trainer with minimal assistance, semi-ambulant meaning that they a permanent or temporary reduction in walking ability but can use the trainer with some assistance, or non-ambulatory meaning that they can only use the trainer with full support.
Larger pneumatic wheels are great for uneven terrain while smaller solid wheels work well indoor on smooth floors with tiles.
Anti-reverse features – Helps prevent accidents caused by the trainer reversing unexpectedly.
Height and width adjustability
This is especially important for children as they will need some room for growth.
- Pelvic stabilizer. Enhances pelvis movement and helps to easily rotate the trainer.
- Trunk support. Offers torso support and is usually padded for comfort and open for easier transfers.
- Forearm platform. A forearm platform attachment helps secure the arms of the user onto the trainer as some users may need assistance doing this.
- Fold down seats. Great especially when a patient is using it over a long distance. They will certainly stop to rest by sitting on the seat.
- Guide bar. Helps users especially children who are using the gait trainer for the first time.
- Suspension conversion harness. These offer extra support, security, and safety to users and are usually attached from four points of the frame.
5 Best Gait Trainers for the Elderly 2024
Below, we have 5 of the best gait trainers. Check out what makes them top.
# 1 Wenzelite Trekker Gait Trainer
Trekker manufactured by Wenzelite is an exceptional multifunctional gait trainer that features four lockable rotating casters for easy movement and safety stops. It is installed with a braking system that locks the wheels securely as well as an effective variable resistance to control how fast or slow the casters rotate. It is designed with two positioning options, the posterior and the anterior and with the directional lever allows the user the option of forward/reverse mobility or forward only mobility. It comes with an adjustable height that increases in 1-inch increments between 29 in and 39 in to fit the user in different situations. Weighing just 22 lb, this gait trainer can comfortably accommodate 200 lb maximum weight. Finally, mounting the needed accessories onto the frame doesn’t need any tools. This simplistic design makes The Trekker a go-to option for those
- Suitable for both anterior and posterior
- Uncomplicated mounting and removal of extra accessories onto the frame
- Folds for easy storage
- Limited utility to youth and children only
#2 Inspired by Drive Moxie GT Gait Trainer, Medium
The 150 lb capacity Moxie GT gait trainer for adults is a tough-built dependable aid. It comes equipped with what it takes for any user to improve their balance and stability. Its handle adjusts conveniently between 22 in and 25.5 in with 1-inch increments. Usable in anterior and posterior positions, this gait trainer’s directional lever is designed to facilitate both forward and reverse mobility and forward only mobility. It moves on four locking wheels attached to swivel casters which can be locked using the trainer’s effective brake system. This is especially essential during transfers when the gait trainer needs to be stationary. When not in use, it folds compact for easy storage. Finally, it gives the user the liberty to add or remove accessories without any tools.
- Both casters and wheels lock securely when the gait trainer is stationary
- Available in 3 sizes to cater to different users
- The handle may not be comfortable for some users
#3 Wenzelite Luminator Gait Trainer with Posterior or Anterior Option
For the overly delicate users who need something beyond a standard walk trainer, the Wenzelite Luminator Gait Trainer comes as a perfect option. It features a seat harness to prop up a patient who can’t entirely stand without support. In addition, it is designed with a stabilizer supports for the pelvis and a positioning bar which adjusts the trainer to a comfortable depth by simply turning a button. Quite uniquely, its swivel wheels are designed with a locking bracket rather than the usual brackets to lock the wheels in place when the trainer needs to be in a stationary position. With the use of variable resistance tabs, the speed of this gait trainer can be controlled and the trainer lined asymmetrically. The handle of this trainer extends between 17 in and 20 in. It is rated 100 lb. overall, this is the best gait trainer for those looking for an all-around training including upright posture, gait pattern, cognitive, step taking, head control, and cardiopulmonary training.
- Anti-slip rubberized handles easy on the palm
- Easy turn knobs for easy adjustment
- Lower weight capacity therefore not ideal for bigger patients
#4 Inspired by Drive Nimbo 2G Lightweight Posterior Walker with Seat, Large
The aluminum Nimbo 2G posterior walker makes a great option if you are considering getting something that will move with ease on different floor surfaces. This mobility aid is designed for use by both adults and children with a maximum weight capacity of 190 lb. Two front swivel wheels and two rear non-swivel wheels all layered with rubber enhance its traction on different surfaces and allow for easy and secure stops. This safety measure also prevents a reverse when the walker is set to one-directional mobility. In addition, it comes with a single-direction override bracket to facilitate a two-direction motion. With 5 pre-set height settings between 28 in and 36 in lb, setting it to a comfortable height shouldn’t be difficult. Other impressive features integrated into this walker include maximum comfort grips and a seat that flips up when walking and down when there is a need to take a rest. Finally, take it anywhere you want and store it easily thanks to the fact that it folds compact.
- Excellent traction wheels
- Seat for resting
- Designed for adults and children
- Posterior-only walker
#5 Inspired by Drive Nimbo 2G Lightweight Posterior Walker with Seat, Small
As the name suggests, the aluminum Nimbo 2G is a smaller version of the Nimbo 2G series also by Inspired by Drive. It comes with more or less the same features as the large Nimbo 2G the only difference being that this one is small. It weighs 15.4 lb and comes with shorter adjustable height dimensions between 19 in and 25 in. This makes it a suitable option for children and smaller individuals. It folds for easy storage, is designed with a maximum comfort handgrip, a single direction override that facilitates a two-direction motion as well as lockable front-only swivel wheels. The flipping seat is a great addition as it allows the user to take a rest when they feel like it.
- Comfortable handgrip
- Designed with a seat for resting
- Posterior-only walker
It may not be possible to regain normal gait at once. For some people, it may not happen completely even with time. However, the situation could get better with improved balance, stability, and muscle power. It takes some patience and consistent training for this to happen. Finally, with the right gait trainer, life gets better even without full resumption of walking ability.