What is the role of gait training in the treatment of middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke?

Updated: Aug 09, 2021
  • Author: Daniel I Slater, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Gait training typically begins with pregait activities while standing at a hemirail or parallel bars. Pregait training involves the initial skills of lateral weight shift and weight acceptance on and off the hemiparetic limb. Progression is then to forward and retro weight shifts in a staggered-stance position. Strength and motor coordination/control in the trunk and hemiparetic lower limb determines the amount of physical assist provided by the therapist. Once effective weight shifts have been achieved, the progression continues to reciprocal steps. Functional weight shifting is of primary importance throughout initial gait-training activities in order to prevent dependence on a fixed assistive device for balance.

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