How to Use a Walker

Getting started

 Set the walker in front of you
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slide 1 of 4, Getting started,
  1. Set the walker at arm's length in front of you, with all four legs on the floor. If your walker has wheels on the front legs, push the walker forward so it's an arm's length in front of you.

Walking with a walker

 Taking a step with a walker
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slide 2 of 4, Walking with a walker,
  1. Use the handles of the walker for balance as you move your weak or injured leg forward to the middle area of the walker. Don't step all the way to the front.
  2. Push straight down on the handles of the walker as you bring your strong leg up, so it is even with your injured leg.
  3. Repeat.

Getting out of a chair and sitting down

 Getting in and out of a chair with a walker
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slide 3 of 4, Getting out of a chair and sitting down,
  1. To get out of a chair, use both hands and push against the arms of your chair. Then put both hands on your walker.
  2. Don't use your walker to help you stand up or sit down.
  3. To sit, back up to the chair. Touch the back of your legs to the chair.
  4. Support most of your weight on your strong leg, and reach back for the arms of the chair.
  5. Slowly and carefully lower yourself into the chair.

Going up and down a curb

 Stepping onto and off of a curb with a walker
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slide 4 of 4, Going up and down a curb,

The first few times you try this, have another person nearby to steady you if needed.

  1. Stand as close to the edge as you can while keeping all four legs of the walker on the surface you're standing on.
  2. When you have your balance, move the walker up or down to the surface you are moving to.
  3. Push straight down on the handles for balance and to take weight off your injured leg.
  4. If you are going up, step up with your stronger leg first, and then bring your weaker or injured leg up to meet it. If you are going down, step down with your weaker leg first, and then bring your stronger leg down to meet it. (Remember "up with the good, and down with the bad" to help you lead with the correct leg.)
  5. Get your balance again before you start to walk.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofJuly 7, 2017

Current as of: July 7, 2017

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine