Types of Walkers for Physical Therapy

Standard walker

A standard walker features an aluminum frame, four adjustable legs that meet the surface, and small handgrips. The walker’s legs offer increased support, while the small handgrips provide improved grip to help you move around safely.

Each leg features rubber caps to ensure the walker stays firmly on the floor, thereby reducing the risk of slipping and falling. Even though a standard walker can provide you with enhanced stability, you need to lift it to move forward.

It is more difficult to use this type of walker for climbing up and down stairs. Assistance is required to help you navigate stairs and or to carry your standard walker.

Even if you can navigate stairs without assistance, you’ll still need someone to carry your walker. Most standard walkers fold, allowing for easy transport in a car, plane, and public transportation.

1.    Two-wheel Walkers

Two-wheel walkers feature an aluminum frame and wheels on each of the front legs. You can push the walker as you walk, thus eliminating the need to lift it up for moving forward. You can also walk more quickly with this walker.

In comparison to standard walkers, two-wheel walkers are less stable. If you lose your grip using it, the walker could get pushed away from you as you walk. You can fold the walker for storage and transportation purposes. However, because of the two front wheels, these walkers aren’t safe for use on stairs.

2.    Three-wheel Walkers

Three-wheeled walker

Three-wheel walkers are lightweight and offer increased support to users. Using them is easier due to their triangular design. You can navigate narrow spaces and fold the walker to store and transport it.

Since it rolls on wheels, you do not have to lift the walker for walking. In comparison to other types of walkers, a three-wheel walker features a tighter radius, which ensures better control and makes it easier to change directions. You can walk down the hallway or through doorways without difficulty.

1.    Four-wheel Walkers

Four-wheel walkers require less upper body strength and hence are recommended for those who don’t need to lean on the walker to maintain their balance. You can move quickly and smoothly using this walker four-wheel walkers are said to be more stable than three-wheeled ones.

You can also place more weight on them. Most models feature backrests and a seat, so you can rest if you get tired. To sit on it, you need to lock its brakes, so it stays in one place. You can fold the backrest to store, carry, and transport the walker. Most walkers allow you to adjust the handle’s height — a feature you will not find in three-wheel walkers.

2.    Knee Walkers

Knee walker or Scooter

Knee walkers or knee scooters are low to the floor surface and can provide you with more stability than other walkers. The difference between regular foot-propelled scooters and knee walkers is that they have space for resting your knees.

The durability and design of knee walkers eliminate weight restrictions. You will not need to use any arm strength to move them because they are like a scooter. Another advantage you get is that you can roam around grocery stores, malls, parks, and any indoor and outdoor locations more easily on a scooter. It even offers you adequate space to carry your things.

When Should You Buy a Walker?

Have you undergone a hip, ankle, or knee surgery? If you have, your doctor will tell you not to place your entire weight on your feet for walking. In some cases, you can’t even keep your functioning foot on the floor. With a walker, you get more stability and support without having to place your entire weight on one side of your body. If your doctor has recommended bed rest for a certain duration, you may need a walker for support while walking.

How to Choose the Right Type of Walker?

Before you buy a walker, ask your physical therapist or doctor for recommendations, based on your medical condition. Your decision will also depend on whether you will be using the walker indoors, outdoors or both indoors and outdoors.

Take into account your height and weight before selecting a walker. Also, remember to buy a walker with comfortable grips. If you are ordering online, do some research on the different types of walkers you have shortlisted to learn more about them. This also includes reading customer reviews.

You should also consider buying accessories, such as a tray to carry food and drinks, a pouch to keep your personal belongings, a seat to sit and relax when tired of walking, and baskets to place your grocery and shopping items.

Buying a walker is a big decision. The right walker can increase your mobility and improve your quality of life. With so many options available, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth.   Stay mobile, enjoy life and keep on truckin!

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It had finally arrived. We were moved into a small retirement community. After the pain in my hips subsided, and my body revived from proper rest, I was faced with assessing my future. Not old enough to retire and not willing to give up my freedom I embarked on this new adventure: Helping Seniors. After all, I could learn a lot by helping this new age group I belonged to. Thus “Sensible Senior Living” was founded. It is my desire to help others enjoy those “golden years” we are now living in. Enjoy the site and most of all enjoy each and every day you have. In each of you is wisdom, insight and vitality that others can benefit from. You are no less valuable, you’re simply limited in your physical ability to administer that value. Do what you can, be who you are, know your limitations. and live on.


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