By Kimberly Donahue, PT, DPT
A dashaway walker is essentially a four-wheeled-walker with upper extremity platforms to improve posture with gait. At the age of 85, a gentleman with Parkinson’s disease and spinal stenosis helped to co-develop this idea for a walker to improve his own functional mobility. The benefit of the upper extremity platforms is the ease of a neutral spinal alignment and full hip extension with gait. This helps our patients with or without Parkinson’s disease attain a more normalized gait pattern, and also decreases back and shoulder pain which some patients experience with traditional four-wheeled-walkers. Therapists also use this device for standing exercises, again for the benefits of improved posture and neutral spine alignment, optimizing strengthening through a full range of motion. Unfortunately, the dashaway walker is not covered by Medicare at this time. However, it is a great training tool to help improve gait and posture in the geriatric population.
What are some devices you are using to improve your patient’s care results?