Usage of Assistive Walking Devices in Populations with Neurological Disorders
Many neurological disorders present with a loss of balance and unsteady gait patterns. Assistive walking devices such as canes, walkers, and other wearable technology is often prescribed for people with these symptoms in hope of returning them to a safe and normal mobility level. With many different devices available, it can become confusing as to which is the most helpful device for each person’s circumstance. This integrated literature review focuses on this idea and discusses the pros and cons of the wide variety of devices and their uses for several neurological disorders. Specific populations reviewed include: Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, and stroke patients. Assistive devices evaluated include: wheeled walkers, canes, poles, lasers, and assorted wearable technology. Published literature results of device effectiveness concluded that many were indeed helpful in improving balance and mobility, however it was noted that their use may decrease gait speed and become problematic in specific scenarios.