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Depending on your current condition, you may find yourself using need to use a walker to help you stay steady and balanced! Walkers are a great tool to help promote stabilization and safe walking.
Unfortunately, walkers can become a hindrance when used incorrectly. Here is are some tips to make sure that you are using your walker safely and correctly!
1) Make sure it is the right height!
Whether you have 4 wheeled walker or a 2 wheeled walker you want to make sure that the walker is not too high nor too low. A high walker can cause balance problems as you body may tilt back due to the extra height. A lower walker will have you slouch and will cause pain in your back and tension around your neck when you are walker.
If there is a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist around, they should be your first option in adjusting your walker as they know what will be correct for you.
However, if you need to figure it out on your own this is what you do:
Relax shoulders and have arm dangle down comfortably. The top of the walker should be the same height as the crease in your wrist.
2) Do not pull on your walker!
When you are standing up from a chair or from your bed, refrain from pulling up on the walker. The walker is not stable enough on the ground and when you pull on the walker, there is a risk of you losing your balance as you fall backwards. Instead, push up form the handles or from the bed when standing up.
Moreover, when sitting down, you want to back up into the chair or bed and make sure the back of your knees touch the surface. Once it is safe, reach back for the chair or bed to sit.
3) Do not pick up your walker!
Many times, people will pick up the walker as they walk forward. This removes the walker from the picture for a moment and increases the risk of you losing your balance. Keep the walker on the floor as you push it around.
These are a few tips to keep you safe with your walker! Remember that practice makes perfect and if you have any questions, it is best to ask your therapist.