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How to Use a Walker

Photo of a four wheeled walkerWhat is a Walker? A walker is a device to help you balance or unload weight from your lower extremity while you walk. You will use your arms to help support part of your body weight as you walk. Your therapist or physician will let you know if you are to take all or part of your body weight off your leg as you walk. 

The following information is given to you to assist in the understanding on how to use a walker:

  1. Make sure that the legs of the walker are level to the ground.
  2. Place the walker a comfortable distance in front of you.
  3. Using your arms for support, walk up into the frame of the walker. Do not step up completely against the front bar of the walker as this could throw you off balance.
  4. Repeat the above process to continue walking.
  5. When turning, take small steps so you don't lose your balance.
  6. When sitting, back all the way up to the surface you are going to sit on until your legs touch the seating surface. Reach back with one hand to the seating surface to steady yourself as you sit.
  7. When rising from a seated position, push from the seating surface to rise, then place hands on the grips of the walker.
  8. Check to make sure the rubber tips are not ripped, worn, or missing, Replace if necessary before using.
  9. If using a folding walk, open the walker, pivot the left and right side frames outward. Swing the side frames outward until the levers activate and snap. Test securely by grasping the side frames and, with some force, attempt to fold them inward. The walker will remain locked in the open position, if properly locked. 
  10. If using a wheeled walker, the wheels are only to be used on the front walker legs. Never use wheeled accessories on the rear legs of the walker unless they are designed for that purpose. This may cause the walker to be unstable which could cause a fall and possible injury.
  11. When adjusting the height of the leg extensions, make sure that each is set into the same height adjustment hole and that the walker is level. Snap buttons must fully protrude through the adjustment hole of each leg extension to ensure a positive lock.

Walker with platform attachment

  1. Place your arm in the platform attachment after standing and secure the strap.
  2. When walking, bear down with your forearm in the platform attachment.
  3. Before sitting, loosen the forearm strap and slide your arm out of the platform attachment.