An injury or debilitating physical condition can impact your ability to walk. There are a number of reasons why this can happen, and at Armor Physical Therapy we can help identify the cause and develop a personalized treatment plan. A gait evaluation will be performed by monitoring your movements on a treadmill or walkway with high-tech motion-tracking cameras.
Exercises and stretches can be individualized to meet your specific needs following a gait evaluation and consultation with a trained physical therapist. Read more below if you are ready to improve your gait and balance through a targeted plan.
The following exercises, while not individualized toward your specific needs, are commonly used to improve both gait and balance.
Improve gait and balance with these four exercises at home
Unsteadiness can lead to falls and serious injuries. Staying active is important to improve your balance and coordination. If an injury, physical condition or age has impacted your ability to walk, there are exercises you can do to improve both gait and balance from the safety of your own home. Since you may be a fall risk, do these exercises under supervision.
Tightrope walk — Hold your arms straight from your side and walk in a straight line. Each time you lift a foot, hold it off the floor for one or two seconds.
Toe the line — Begin with your heels touching the wall. Place one foot in front of the other, heel to toe. Lift the back foot and place it in the front, heel to toe. Walk in a straight line, facing forward and focusing on a spot in front of you.
Flamingo stand — Using a chair for balance, stand on one leg and stretch the other leg forward. Keep your shoulders, back and head straight with your ears above your shoulders.
Standing marches — Holding on to a chair for balance if needed, stand with your feet hip width apart. Lift one knee, making your thigh parallel to the floor while keeping your shoulders, back and head straight with your ears above your shoulders. Pause before placing your foot back on the floor and lifting the other leg.
Take the next step
Contact us today to schedule your complimentary 15-minute screening to determine if you are in need of a personalized treatment plan to improve your gait and balance. Not in Kalamazoo, MI? Visit our location page to find a more convenient clinic.