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Using Walking Aids Properly May Avoid More Injury

By Tom Herrin

It seems as if most people end up with some kind of injury that causes them to need to use a walking aid at some point in their lives.  If they are able to avoid this, they are pretty lucky.  As they go about their everyday routines, it appears almost inevitable that they have an occasion in which they turn an ankle or have some other reason why they may need to keep weight off of a foot or leg as they attempt to walk.  As a result, a lot of homes have something tucked into a closet that can serve this purpose as a walking aid.  Using these aids properly can make a difference between a good recovery and more injury.

Each Aid May Have a Unique Use

There are, for the most part, three common types of walking aids.  Probably the most recognizable is crutches.  They are most often used when someone has an injury requiring them to move while keeping most of their weight off of the injured part.  Another thing that seems to have been around a long time is a cane.  A cane may be used to steady someone who has some balance issues.  It also may be used when someone is recovering from some kind of an injury and is beginning to place some weight on the injured part.  The third kind of walking aid is the walker.  They come in all kinds of designs.  Some roll while some help people to walk in a more upright position.  They are often used to support more of the lower body weight or provide more stability for someone with greater balance issues.

Using Crutches May Help Allow Healing

Crutches are used many times by someone who has an injury in which they need to keep most, or all, of their weight off of their injured part.  The top of the crutch should be an inch or two below the armpits and the hand grips should be near the level of the top of the hips.  Weight is either placed all on the good foot or leg or transferred to both of the crutches at the same time.  With a little practice, most people are able to navigate wherever they want to go with few hitches.  When crutches are adjusted poorly, there is a risk of some really sore armpits or other injury that may add to the problems.

Plan for Possible Injuries

It is not that people should always look for bad things, but they should have plans that include potential problems.  Keeping some kind of walking aid around can be part of being prepared.  Prevention is always a good idea, so inspecting your home and surroundings can help to reduce the chances of accidental injury.  Picking up clutter and cords that may cause people to trip can help.  Getting spills taken care of as quickly as possible is another good practice.  Doing what we can to be prepared can be a great family project.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Carmel, Ind.

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