Friday, April 22, 2016

Walking aids: Helping people walk by themselves

Walking aids are used to assist people who have a temporary or permanent mobility impairment. People suffering from muscle, bone, joint or any sort of sensory problems have trouble walking on their own, thus the use of various walking aids is essential for them for carrying on with their day to day lives. These aids are available in a wide assortment and are suitable for people with minor mobility impairment as well as for people with severe disability.

Walking aids are constantly evolving in their design, capability and ease of use. Modern aids are advanced, sophisticated and optimally perform all their requisite functions, sometimes almost fully emulating body functions. Some of the assistive devices provided by walking aids manufacturers today are cane, crutches, blind walking stick, fold-able walker with wheel, knee scooters etc.

Purpose of walking aids
  • Increase the support area and also base of support for differently abled people
  • To maintain the requisite center of gravity over the supported area
  • To decrease force on injured part of the body, thus redistributing the weight bearing area
  • To compensate for weaker muscles
  • To improve overall body balance, also decrease pain

Advantages of walking aids
  • The aids allow differently abled people to remain independent by eliminating their reliance on some other person for help in their day to day needs
  • By keeping regular body movement going, the aids help in quicker healing of injuries in persons with temporary impairment
  • Most devices provided by walking aids suppliers are fold-able and so are easy to carry from one place to another
  • It provides improved stability in some unavoidable situations for disabled persons, like walking on uneven surfaces

General instructions for using walking aids
  • People with mobility impairments should use walking aids according to their body construction, like crutches should be used by those people who are stronger in their upper body parts
  • Make sure the walking aid is ideal for the environment in which it is being used
  • While continuously using the aids, make sure to keep taking short breaks and stand upright for some time
  • Before using these aids, make sure these are in perfect working condition