When clinically analyzing a person's gait, there are many characteristics to be observed. Among these, the number of times the gait cycle takes is a very easy to objectify. This observation also provides a lot of information about walking ability.
Let's see together what the difference is between a 2-stroke and a 3-stroke walk.
A healthy person
The walking of a healthy person on regular ground is said to be "two-step".
It is in fact a cycle consisting of a support time for the right foot and a support time for the left foot.
When we watch this person walking, we can "right - left - right - left - ...". We can also count "1-2-1-2-1...". The time interval between 1-2 and 2-1 is the same.
A healthy person on crutches
If we ask the same person to walk with a crutch, he or she will move the crutch synchronously with the opposite leg: Same contact time on the ground and same swing time.
In the same way as without a crutch, we will be able to say "right - left - right - left - ...". We will also be able to count "1-2-1-2-1...". The time interval between 1-2 and 2-1 is also the same.
Walking with this crutch does not interfere with the speed and fluidity of the walk.
It is not the same with a person with severe motor impairment. Indeed, if we observe a hemiparetic person at the beginning of rehabilitation, this person will probably adopt a "three-step" walk. The gait cycle will include a time for cane support, one for support of one foot and one for support of the other foot.
By observing this person, we will be able to say "cane - left foot - right foot - cane - left foot - right foot - ...". We will also be able to count "1-2-3-1-2-3-1-...". The time of double support is significantly increased.
A person with a severe deficiency is not able to balance on one foot while moving the other leg and cane (like a healthy person). So she pauses, leaning on her two feet, balanced, to advance her cane. It is a compensation, an adaptation to his difficult situation.
Healthy person in a delicate situation
Note that a healthy person in a delicate situation (mountain) adopts this same type of walk in 3 steps to ensure his or her safety.
Hemiplegic person with a Wheeleo
In order to enable a patient to walk in 2 stages (repetition of a correct walking pattern) early and spontaneously, it may be advisable to use a Wheeleo walking stick. The Wheeleo's constant support on the ground provides extra support throughout the entire walking cycle, making walking more fluid, stable, fast and comfortable.
By observing a person walking with a Wheeleo who usually walks in 3 strokes with a classic cane, we will be able to say "right - left - right - left - ...". We will also be able to count "1-2-1-2-1...". The time interval between 1-2 and 2-1 tends to be more symmetrical.
The patient respects his need to always have two supports on the ground while adopting a near-normal approach.