Setting your Walker to the Correct height
If you use or are going to use a walker or rollator you need to make sure you start here. It is very important that you set your walker or rollator to the correct height. Failure to do so can cause all kinds of biomechanical issues like wrist pain, foot and knee issues, shoulder strain and even back pain.
Setting the walker to the right height is very easy. I recommend that you have someone help you to avoid any unwanted accidents. Make sure that you are on a solid level surface. It’s also important that you have study shoes on (preferably the ones that you spend most of your time walking in). Lets get started!!
- Stand with the walker directly in front of you like you are about to use it.
- Place the back of both your heels even with the back legs or wheels of the walker.
- Have your helper set the height of the walker handles to the height of your hip bones. (These are the bones you can feel on the outside, upper part of your leg)
- While standing there straight your arms will have a bend in them of about 20-30 degrees. Which should feel very comfortable to you.
Another option is using the wrist crease method. Your wrist crease is the area between your hand and forearm.
- Stand flatfooted with your walking shoes on facing forward with your eyes level and arms hanging relaxed from your side.
- Then have some measure from your wrist crease to the floor.
- That measurement is the height you should set your walker too. (Walker handles to the floor)
These options are both very simple. I recommend that before buying a walker sure the walker you buy will fit you height requirements. The walkers are sized in small ranges. Always have the sales person measure your height to ensure your height will fall in the corrected range of the walker you buy
Safety in Your Home
Lastly, but importantly, remember safety in the home. Try to eliminate anything that may cause a fall.
1. Extension cords and throw rugs are accidens waiting to happen.
2. Make sure to keep water, soda or any liquid off of the floors to prevent slips.
3. Have your furniture arranged so it will give the right width and turning radius's needed
4. Have any abrupt floor height changes. Have them fill to a gradual change in floor height.
Good common sense should prevail.
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Dr. Josh Kilpatrick
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