The New Rifton Pacer Gait Trainer, So Much More Than a Walker

Lori Potts, PT | November 2015

The new Rifton Dynamic gait trainer, shown in the color blue, is more than just a walkerOften parents of children with disabilities – and adults who have incurred serious injuries – seek out walkers to enable better mobility and walking practice. While walkers have their place in rehabilitation, these very basic support devices offer very little when compared to gait trainers – and even less when compared to the new Rifton Pacer gait trainer.

What’s so special about the new Pacer? We’re glad you asked! Here are a few of the new features:

Customizable in a whole new way.

One of the biggest features making the new Pacer so unique is that it is infinitely more customizable. Now you don’t merely select the frame your client needs, but you select the upper frame and choose among an assortment of base frame types. 

A young boy outside in a park using a dynamic gait trainer is safely guided by his therapistBecause each frame type is interchangeable, you can now choose between a standard or dynamic upper frame, and between standard, utility, and treadmill base options. Besides this, the prompts now include the highly adjustable Multi Position Saddle (MPS) and the new Arm Platforms. Check out “Six New Features of Rifton’s New Pacer” to learn more about the modular frame and new accessory options.

Unlike gait training with a standard walker, the Pacer’s supportive prompts enable active participation and promote valuable motor learning, strength gains, and mobility. As the individual gains skills, improves function and achieves greater independence, the prompts can be removed.

Because the Pacer is specifically designed to offer prompt reduction over time, through changing the angles of prompts or removing them altogether, it is particularly unique among gait trainers. And this unique capability gives the name “Pacer” a double meaning; it helps clients improve their walking pace through practice, while helping them develop, heal, and become more independent at their own pace.

Built-in dynamic movement.

This new Pacer now offers a dynamic weight bearing component with 3” – 4” of vertical movement and a dynamic weight shift component with 2” of horizontal movement. This smooth floating mechanism accommodates the natural human movement in gait and enables the transfer of weight from leg to leg and encourages the alternating forward swing movement of the legs. You’ll find more elsewhere on our website about how these dynamic mobility features are important in gait training equipment as they assist in creating natural and more typical gait patterns.

A boy works on dynamic gait training on treadmill with his therapistTreadmill option and larger wheel option for use over thresholds or carpet (indoors), gravel or grass (outdoors).

From treadmill walking to over-ground ambulation practice or outdoor activity, the all-new, inexpensive Treadmill and Utility Bases expand your options for where you can use your Pacer. Those with developmental disabilities and individuals in rehab recovering from spinal cord injuries (SCI) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) know that the more places you can practice the more you will practice. And motor learning theory stresses the importance of the therapeutic progression from gait patterning on a treadmill to navigating variable and challenging over-ground environments.

A young girl smiles as she uses a dynamic gait training walker with guidance from her therapistFar more versatility than a walker.

  • Prompts mount anywhere; no tools required
  • Simple single column height adjustment in infinite increments
  • Innovative casters with separate swivel lock, brake, variable drag and one-way ratchet control, available on standard base, or in larger sizing on utility base
  • Modular design detaches upper frame from base, to fit easily in car trunks
  • Users can face either way (posterior or anterior)
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