Abnormal Gait Using a Walker
Some people with difficulty walking may require more support than a cane or crutches can offer. Walkers with four solid feet on the bottom give you the most stability. A walker is much more stable than crutches or a cane. A walker allows you to keep weight off one leg while you walk. It is also lends support if both of your legs are unstable or painful.
The handles of your walker should reach the crease in your wrist when you stand upright and the walker is placed on the floor. Moving slowly is important when you use a walker.
Using a Walker
- Place your walker one stride ahead of you. Make sure that all 4 legs of your walker are on the ground.
- Grasp the handles on the walker with both hands. Lean forward and support your weight on your arms.
- Step forward with your good leg. Place your foot in the center of the square that is made by the walker feet.
- Step forward with the other leg.
- Take small steps when you turn.
- In order to sit in a chair, back up until your legs touch the chair. Reach behind you in order to feel the seat and then sit down.
- In order to get up from a chair, push yourself up with your arms and then grasp the handles on the walker.
- Make sure that the rubber tips on the legs of the walker are tightly fastened. Replace the rubber tips if they become worn.
- Do not use your walker to climb stairs.
- Do not use your walker on an escalator.
General Safety Tips
- Remove small area rugs, electrical cords, spilled liquids or other items that may cause you to slip.
- In the bathroom, install non-slip bath mats, toilet grab bars, a raised toilet seat, shower grab bars, and a shower tub seat.
- Keep needed household items in close reach. Store less used items out of the way.
- Use a backpack, fanny pack, apron or briefcase in order to carry items.
Continue to Abnormal Gait Using Crutches
- Iezzoni LI. A 44-year-old woman with difficulty walking. JAMA. 2000 Nov 22-29;284(20):2632-9. 
- Jylha M, Guralnik JM, Balfour J, Fried LP. Walking difficulty, walking speed, and age as predictors of self-rated health: the women's health and aging study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Oct;56(10):M609-17. 
- Villaverde V, De Inocencio J, Merino R, Garcia-Consuegra J. Difficulty walking. A presentation of idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis. J Rheumatol. 1998 Jan;25(1):173-6.