What is Body Weight Supported Therapy (BWST)?

Body weight support therapy (BWST) “uses overhead suspension system and harness to support a percentage of the patient’s body weight as the patient walks on”, thereby removing weight symmetrically from the lower extremities. By providing this support and removing the fear of falling, both the therapist and patient can better focus on the aspects of coordination, balance and gait that ultimately improve an individual’s independence with mobility tasks. We can also perform different exercises and movements without the fear of falling, allowing your body to regain strength to move while standing.

The advantages to using Body Weight Support Therapy:

  1. It is a dynamic task specific repetitive activity, incorporating weight bearing, stepping and balance.
  2. It allows for early walking and can discourage compensatory gait/walking patterns from developing.
  3. Practice gait/walking as a whole task combined with other movements.
  4. Can be used for cardiovascular training, as the harness provides a safety measure for fall risk