One step forward and two steps back: The dangers of walking backwards in therapy

Mark A. Thomas, Avital Fast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Walking backwards has been used in therapy to improve balance and gait. There has not been any systematic investigation into the effectiveness or safety of walking backwards. We present two cases in which walking backwards during physical therapy resulted in a fall and considerable morbidity. The only clear indication for treatment by walking backwards should be a task-specific need to do so, and only then if adequate safety can be assured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-461
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Ambulation
  • Backwards
  • Fall
  • Physical Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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