Our Path to Success
Helping People Walk Again
Our Path to Success
Helping People Walk Again
Getting people back on their feet since 1989
Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of people confined to beds and wheelchairs who need to have proper healthcare equipment to walk and stand again. Whether they can reestablish quality of life often depends on whether they have opportunity, and access, to effective therapy and equipment.
Today, the Second Step Gait Harness System is used with clients living with a broad spectrum of medical conditions, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke/CVA, developmental disability, lower extremity amputation, and other neurological disorders of the central nervous system which affect balance and ambulation.
For decades, Gait Harness System products have provided caregivers, practitioners and clients a uniquely comfortable, easy to use, and effective support System to begin the work of learning to safely stand and walk again. Below, learn more about our story.
Second Step, Inc. was founded in 1989
Second Step has invested years of research and development in rehabilitation institutes, nursing homes, inpatient clinics, outpatient clinics, research and educational institutions, and hospital settings.
The consortium of input provided at the outset by research and development teams of physical therapists, engineering designers, prototype builders, biomedical researchers, caregivers, and clients clearly identified the need for what ultimately became known as the Gait Harness System (GHS). GHS product engineering designs were produced by Second Step founder David Dubats.
Up & Running
Since inception, our driving passion and mission has been
to create a superior therapy product tool which safely and
comfortably supports the client, so they can begin the work of
learning to stand and walk again.
Thus, Second Step’s flagship product was the patent protected Second Step Gait Harness, introduced to market in the early 1990’s.
The Gait Harness was the central, foundational support to the
ultimate GHS vision.
Safe Patient Transfers
The Gait Harness was designed as an asset for practitioners who need a safer way to transfer patients between seated, standing, and supine positions, reducing risk of injury to caregiver and patient alike.
Additionally, staff can use the Gait Harness as a comfortable trunk support when helping patients begin weight bearing.
Hand holds around the trunk level of the harness keep caregiver and patient more properly positioned as the patient is assisted to a standing position.
Over the next few years, practitioners, caregivers and clients
told us they wanted an adaptive, assistive, multi-featured,
all-in-one walking frame and standing frame integrated
around Gait Harness support. Primary objectives were to
keep staff and patients safe and secure during therapy.
Evidence-based practice confirmed the specific features
required to design a premium supportive system frame.
Based on this input, founder David Dubats designed the
Original Gait Harness System for over ground training over r
eal-world floor and ground surfaces. After the drawings were
complete, his designs were evaluated and analyzed by a
multi-disciplinary human factors team.
Because the Gait Harness System is uniquely different from
any other piece of therapy equipment, it is protected by 4
patents. All GHS products have always been 100% US
designed, engineered, made and manufactured.
The original intention was to create an adaptive and assistive
system that will allow clients to resume their activities of daily
living with respect to standing and walking again.
It was quickly discovered that the Gait Harness System
expanded its utilizations far beyond the assistive and
In addition to the assistive and adaptive settings where the
GHS is used (such as nursing homes and adult care living
facilities, for general maintenance and restorative care
programs), the GHS was quickly integrated into outcome-
and recovery-based outpatient therapy for higher and lower
level clients who required parallel bars or the assistance of
several caregivers to conduct therapy.
Positive clinical outcomes emerged as clients began safely
walking again under the supervision of therapist and doctor
teams for the first time in the months or years since their
disabling condition, accident, injury or illness.
The New GHS
A New Hope
As insurance began to restrict inpatient and outpatient therapy sessions, clients who had exhausted PT services came to us looking for in-home therapy answers.
Many clients want access to quality fabrication, commercial grade therapy equipment for continuing home use.
Our practitioners and clients understand that investing in proper tools, with caregiver support, is necessary for optimal recovery.
We launched the new Home Users GHS and Practitioners GHS models with these progressive practitioners, caregivers and clients in mind.
Customization & Options
Freedom of movement
The GHS for Home Users offers a custom made Gait Harness; two forearm support top options; and a base frame with multi-directional casters, which allow inline or free turning
movement, including indoor and environmental enrichment
The GHS for Practitioners includes the standard forearm
top practitioners require; the multi-directional, indoor/outdoor
base frame; and a set of adult small, medium and large Gait
Harnesses to fit a broad spectrum of client sizes, up to 6’7
and 375 lb.
Hand Hold Accessory
In 2014, one of our practitioners requested we fabricate an adjustable hand hold accessory for use with certain patients who lack grip strength, or who may be flaccid in their upper
After beta testing the newly designed accessory with practitioners, the GHS Hand Hold Accessory Set product was successfully launched in 2015.
The hand holds attach anywhere along the inside or outside l ength of either GHS forearm support top, adjusting to each client’s unique needs and comfort.
Commentary from practitioners and clients is that the hand holds are helpful in increasing client’s ability to maintain stability in the GHS, providing them a secure place to grasp.
Continuing to Improve
Research and evidence-based practice confirms what we have known from the beginning: more intensive, more frequent therapy is safe, effective, and required for optimal recovery.
A recent study compared regular once-daily inpatient physical
therapy sessions with sessions three times a day.
Significant improvement in functional mobility, shorter inpatient stays, and continued better rehab recovery post discharge were confirmed by more frequent daily therapy sessions.
At Second Step, we continue to believe that recovery is a better option than adaption.
We see the time when people will no longer be sent to institutions (or sent home from institutions) with the message they will not walk again. Provided the proper tools and support, many can walk again, more independently, with more dignity.
Under the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA),
Second Step has been a 2004 and 2005 Partner in Research,
Foundation for Physical Therapy contributor. Second Step is
Better Business Bureau accredited, earning its highest A+ rating.
Contact Us Today
We are here to help you
For personalized attention, please call or email us today. We will take the time to answer all your questions about how the Gait Harness System is helping people walk again, and whether it could be right for you.