How to Use a Walker with Front Wheels In Simple Steps
- Make sure the walker is adjusted to the proper height
- Position the walker so that you’re not too far into the walker
- Advance the walker about a step length
- With your sore/weak/operated leg step forward placing the toes of your foot into the imaginary square of the walker
- Lean forward and bear your body’s weight on your straightened arms
- Step forward with your better foot
- Repeat steps 3-6
A walker needs to be adjusted to the proper height in order to give the person using it the best leverage and most support. If the walker is too low, the person will not be able to stand up straight to walk normally. If the walker is too high, the person will not be able to use their arms to support their body weight and may not be able to walk as well.
With the user standing straight up, adjust the walker height so that the handles are level with the wrists. This is generally the optimal height and will be most comfortable when in use.
Position Front Wheel Walker Correctly
Having the walker in the best position is also a challenge for some. Many feel they have to stand “inside” the walker to use it the “right way”. Unfortunately, many physical therapists will reinforce this misconception at times and give a false impression or truth because it’s being said by a healthcare professional.
With the best positioning of the walker, a person’s hands will always be in front of their hips. Whether at rest and standing straight, or when walking, having the hands in front of the hips will give a person the best support.
Being “inside” the walker, the hands are along the sides of the hips. This position throws off your balance. The person has to bend forward to maintain their balance and so will not have the best posture.
With your toes resting in the center of the imaginary square/retangle made by the walker’s 4 legs, push the walker forward about a step length.
Step forward with your sore or weak leg first with your toes resting 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 use them, plus your weak leg to support your body weight while you step forward with your other foot.
Follow These Simple Steps When Using A Two Wheel Walker
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.”
Remembering this along with the importance of proper walker height and walker positioning, are simple steps to using a front wheeled walker.