There are a large variety of walking aids available for people who need help with their mobility in the short term or for longer periods. During rehabilitation, a person may progress from one type of aid to another as their strength increases and they need less and less support. Walking aids can be of great benefit to:
The choice of walking aid depends on the person, their mobility, their fitness condition etc and the correct choice and fitting of walking aids is best done by a qualified physiotherapist.
Crutches provide excellent bilateral support for people who have non-weight bearing ability (they can hop on their good leg) or partial weight bearing ability. A certain amount of skill and dexterity is needed to use crutches safely. Three types of crutches are available:
There are many styles of walking sticks available and again, the choice of stick will depend on the persons condition and their personal preference. Walking stick designs available include:
Walking frames offer more support with their larger base area and are available in fixed, adjustable and folding designs. Optional accessories include wheels (or castors) plus glide brakes which make the frames easier to move, but care must be taken when using them.