How You Use A Walker With Two Wheels In Simple Steps
- Step one: Adjust walker to the proper height
- Step two: Position the walker so you are standing near the “rear” of the walker
- Advance the walker about a step length in front of you
- If you have a sore/weak/operated leg step forward with that one first and center the toes in the imaginary square of the walker
- Lean forward to bear your body weight with arms straight
- Step forward with your better foot
- Repeat steps 3-6
Many people take for granted that as long as they have 2 hands on the walker, it’s not important how high or low the handles are. This is a misconception.
The walker needs to be adjusted to the correct height of the person using it the allow for the best leverage and most support.
If the walker is too high, you won’t be able to straighten your arms and so you may not be able to get the best leverage to support yourself. This is important if you have a lot of pain, are heavy set, have weak legs or a combination of any of the above.
Then again, if the walker is too low, you’re going to be bent over, reaching for the handles of the walker in order to get the right amount of support. This makes looking ahead difficult and also may affect your ability to walk as normally as possible.
Make Sure To Adjust The Height and Position Of The Walker
While standing straight up inside the walker, allow your hands to drop to your sides. Then, adjust the walker height so that the handles are level with your wrists. When the handles are even with the wrists, this will allow you to not only stand up straighter in the walker, but also allow you the best leverage to support yourself when you’re walking.
Positioning when you’re using the walker is important also. If you’re too close or too far away from the walker, you run the risk of being off balance and increasing the potential for a fall.
It’s a common misunderstanding that the “right way” to position the walker is to have you stand “inside” it. But, this puts you in an awkward position and it’s difficult to stand straight up this way.
When you’re in the best position to use a walker, your hands will always be to the front of your hips/thighs. It won’t matter if you’re at rest and standing straight, or if you happen to be walking. When you have the hands to the front of your thighs/hips, you will the best support.
When you’re “inside” the walker, your hands are along the sides of your thigh/hips. This position throws off your balance. Plus, you have to bend forward to maintain your balance and will not have the best posture.
Now, start out with your toes resting in the center of the imaginary square/retangle made by the walker’s 4 legs. You now push the walker forward about a step length.
Stepping forward with your sore or weak leg first, place your toes down in the center of the imaginary square/retangle again. It’s important to start out with the weaker or injured leg first because it’s easier to use your arms to help with support.
Lean your body weight onto your arms at this point and press down into the walker while you step forward with your other foot.
Physical therapist’s have a “cadence call” that you may have heard when they’re training people to use a walker. It goes something like this:
“Walker. Bad/weak/sore leg. Good leg. Walker. Bad/weak/sore leg. Good leg.”
The video below gives you an example of how some people use a two wheeled walker.
Remembering this along with the importance of proper walker height and walker positioning, are simple steps to using a walker with two wheels.