Information for the public

For adults at risk of falls, NICE has said that the GaitSmart rehabilitation exercise programme can be used in the NHS to treat gait and mobility issues while more evidence is generated.

The NHS is collecting more evidence on GaitSmart in this group. You might be asked if details of your treatment can be collected as evidence. You can ask your healthcare professional about how your information will be stored and used.

For adults having hip or knee replacements, NICE has said that the GaitSmart rehabilitation exercise programme can only be used as part of a research study to treat gait and mobility issues.

GaitSmart is intended for people who can walk but have gait (walking pattern) and mobility issues. It consists of a digital assessment of gait and personalised rehabilitation exercises. Sensors on the legs, pelvis and back are used to digitally monitor a person’s limb movements while walking. Information from the sensors is used to produce a report that helps the person and healthcare professional to understand any gait issues. An app for healthcare professionals uses the information to produce a personalised rehabilitation programme of 6 exercises to help improve mobility. A healthcare professional will explain the exercises and can provide a paper copy of the exercise programme so the person can do it at home without needing a digital device. Usually, someone has a total of 4 gait assessments, which take about 10 minutes each. These are done by a healthcare assistant at 3- to 6‑weekly intervals. The exercise program can be updated if changes in gate and mobility are identified during later assessments.

Is this treatment right for me?

Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. See our webpage on making decisions about your care.

Questions to think about

  • How well does it work compared with other treatments?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • How will the treatment affect my day-to-day life?
  • What happens if the treatment does not work?
  • What happens if I do not want to have treatment? Are there other treatments available?

Information and support

The NHS webpage on back pain may be a good place to find out more.

These organisations can give you advice and support:

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

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