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Using a Walker

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Using a walker

A walker with four legs is the most stable walking aid. Your doctor will recommend a walker if you need to keep all or nearly all the weight off one leg, if your general strength or endurance is decreased, or if your balance is not always good.

Be sure your walker fits you. When you stand up in your normal posture and rest your hands on the walker's hand grips, your hands should be even with the tops of your legs. Your elbows should be slightly bent.

To walk using a walker

  1. Set the walker at arm's length in front of you, with all four legs on the floor. If your walker has wheels on the front legs, just take your weight off your hands and push the walker forward.
  2. Use the handles of the walker for balance as you move your weak or injured leg forward to the middle area of the walker. Don't step all the way to the front.
  3. Push straight down on the handles of the walker as you bring your good leg up, so it is even with your injured leg.
  4. Repeat.

To go up or down a curb using a walker

Try this first with another person nearby to steady you if needed.

  1. Stand as close to the edge as you can while keeping all four legs of the walker on the surface you're standing on.
  2. When you have your balance, move the walker up or down, to the surface you are moving to.
  3. Push straight down on the handles for balance and to take weight off your injured leg.
  4. If you are going up, step up with your stronger leg first, then bring your weaker or injured leg up to meet it. If you are going down, step down with your weaker leg first, then bring your stronger leg down to meet it. Remember "up with the good, and down with the bad" to help you lead with the correct leg.
  5. Get your balance again before you start walking.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 08, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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