Osteoarthritis patients in most instances require mobility equipment to aid their movement. Walkers are vital as they facilitate movement by enabling users to be stable and balanced well as they move. Safety precautions for walkers are essential for enhanced safety of users as they use the equipment on a day to day basis.
Often you will see people using walkers ineffectively or using the wrong type of walker that is not suitable for their situation. To avoid poor walking postures such slouched walking, it is imperative to implore tips on safety precautions for walkers. To draw comfort and maximize utility of this motility, consider the following tips:
- Consider the available options – Research on the most appropriate walker for your clinical or orthopedic condition. There are several models of walkers you can order online or in medical equipment stores. However, you have to be sure that you are buying the right walker. You need to consider if the walker has these accessories.
- Hand brakes
- Rubber tips
- Rubber grips
- Walker with seat
- Go for the walker that will withstand your weight and body physique – There are heavyweight and light weight walkers available in medical stores. Weighty people are recommended to use heavy weight walkers the same applies to light weight people.
- Ensure your walker is positioned at a suitable height – A wrong positioned walker will cause you to strain causing body aches and improper body mechanics that risk your fall. Therefore, avoid too low walkers that will force you to stoop or high walkers that will not afford your arm’s, elbows’ and wrist’s maximum comfort and safety.
- Rational use of the walker to ensure safety precautions for walkers – Whether you are using a walker with seat or the convectional walker, take one step or move at a time. The walker should always be near you and maintain the right posture as you make moves. As you use the walker, your focus should be in the front and not on your feet to avoid tipping over and injuring yourself.
- Be cautious on your moves as you prepare to use the walker – This is the foundation that constitutes the principle of safety precautions for walkers. Therefore, always try to be safe. In case you are sitting, always ensure the walker is placed in front of your chair. Then move towards the walker while sitting on your chair, rest your hands on the chair’s arm then push up. After pushing up, rest your hands on the walker’s grip. Ensure you are stable before you start your movement with the walker.
- Take care as you sit down after using the walker – In case you want to relax after moving around with your walker, ensure you are extra careful as you sit. First, let the chair be positioned right at your back, then move one of your legs forward then use your remaining leg which should be stronger to accommodate your weight. Finally, move your hands from the walker grips to the arms of the chair as you sit down gradually.
It is essential that you follow your physiotherapist’s advice in selecting a suitable walker. Further, you must adhere to safety precautions for walkers by using your walker in the right manner.