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Physical therapy and Stepping over Obstacles

Gait balance exercises can be incomplete without the ability to step over obstacles.

This is one of the most effective ways to enhance and feature the movement in your legs when walking. You should do stepping exercises on different obstacles frequently to force your hips to bend and your knees to walk.

Obstacle Gait Training

This is how you do this exercise

  • Place 5-6 small obstacles along a straight line, 15 inches apart. You can use any type of object, such as a towel roll or a stack of books.
  • Keep your face towards the obstacle, and you must step over it with one foot.
  • Place your uninvolved other foot next to your first.   
  • Continue this procedure with one foot, then switch to the other foot and cross over the obstacle.
  • This will make it easy to step over the obstacle quickly and take a step. Make sure you lift your knee high so your foot and ankle are towards your buttocks.
  • This process can be repeated 10 times

Side-Stepping Gait Exercises

When you feel comfortable with the obstacle-stepping process, you can move sideways. This alteration to your regular gate can allow you to move in different directions.

These steps will help you to do side-stepping gait exercises

  • Don’t let an obstacle stand in your way
  • Place one foot sideways on the first circle, and then raise your knee.
  • Place your foot on the other side to make it easier for your second foot.
  • Keep your knees high and lift your second foot. Place your second foot next to your first.
  • Do the same with all obstacles
  • You will need to step forward with your knees high to complete the obstacle stepping. Take your time and stand on one side while you move forward. While this can improve your gait, it can also lead to instability. To help you stay safe, make sure someone is nearby to assist you.

This exercise is essential for the balancing of lower extremity dysfunction. Make sure you include it in your exercise program.