What Walking Aid Is Best for Me?

What Walking Aid Is Best for Me?

Whether you are living with a disability, injury, recovering from a medical procedure, or simply need extra help when walking, walking aids can become a valuable asset to making your life a little easier. We often take for granted just how much walking we need to do on a daily basis, but when we get older or have mobility issues, walking can prove to be a tiring and sometimes painful task. Walking is not only good for your long term health and recovery, but it also carries with it a number of mental health benefits as well.

With this in mind, we have compiled a list of available walking aids, and which circumstances each are best suited for:

Crutches

Crutches, like the traditional forearm crutch, or underarm crutch, are typically used for those recovering from an injury to a single limb, usually the foot or leg. Crutches are a form of walking aid that enables the user to stand and walk with an injury, by transferring body weight onto the crutch rather than the limb. Depending on the severity of the injury or loss of function, a user may require either one or two crutches. Crutches are ideal walking aids as, unlike a wheelchair or walking frame, they are lighter, more flexible, and allow for easier travel up and down obstacles such as stairs.

Knee walkers

For individuals who perhaps do not have the necessary upper body strength for crutches, knee walkers (or knee scooters) are an ideal alternative. Knee walkers are a cross between a walking frame and scooter. Knee walkers have two to three wheels fixed to a handlebar frame and have a cushioned pad so that the user can rest their body weight via their knee. Knee walkers are ideal for individuals that need to walk long distances but want to do so at a higher speed than what they might achieve with crutches. Good features to look for include the ability to fold/collapse the knee walker so that it can fit in the back of the car.

Walking frames

One of the most common walking aids is the walking frame. The walking frame allows the user to rest nearly all their body weight onto the frame when tired, and also provides the user with stability when not moving. There is a multitude of walking frames that suit different needs. Some walking frames come with wheels to allow smoother and faster travel, others come with adjustable legs so that the user can select the most comfortable height. Many modern walking frames are light-weight, collapsible and come with handy accessories such as storage or baskets. Walking frames are ideal for elderly users who want to continue with their day-to-day routine but need some extra stability and respite from too much walking.

Walking stick

The walking stick has been a walking aid for centuries and provides the user with some additional support and stability. Walking sticks are ideal for users who might not necessarily need a walking aid all of the time but would benefit from having it accessible when they’re out and about, or when they tire. Simple, easy to store, and lightweight, a walking stick provides temporary support for getting up, walking, and resting whilst standing. A walking stick may also prove useful for individuals that still want to travel up and downstairs but do not want to travel with more cumbersome apparatus such as knee walkers or walking frames.

Most modern walking sticks come in a variety of shapes, materials, and sizes, as well as offering adjustable functionality so that the user can set the height to the most comfortable size.

Quad-sticks

Quad-sticks are simply walking sticks that provide additional support in that rather than 1 contact to the ground, the walking stick protrudes into 4 contact areas. This allows for greater stability and the ability to support more weight. Quad-sticks are preferable for users who have less natural balance, and are worried about their walking stick slipping, or are anxious about distributing too much weight on a traditional walking stick.

In summary, whatever your circumstances, we have something for everyone when it comes to walking aids. It is important that every individual with mobility issues finds a solution that is comfortable and suited to their circumstances.

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