How Do I Know If I Need A Walking Aid?
While there are many reasons that someone may require the temporary or permanent use of a walking aid or mobility device, a few common signs do exist. People, in general, tend to feel that isolation or limited activity is the solution as they age or develop a medical condition that may interfere with daily activity, thus surrendering some of their independence. However, with the advancements in mobility aids and devices, this independence does not need to be sacrificed, nor does it mean you are limited to a traditional walker.
Here are some common signs that your physical conditions may require you to choose a mobility aid to maintain your active lifestyle:
- Weight Bearing Concerns - no longer being able to safely and confidently stand for a short or long period of time. Common causes may include:
- Muscle or joint pain (possibly arthritis-related pain)
- Poor circulation
- Fractures or post-surgery conditions
- Hip, leg, or foot injury
- Nerve damage
- Balance - no longer feeling safe or confident with your stability.
- Inner ear conditions that may cause a spinning sensation with certain head movements
- Medications (or their side effects)
- Some neurological conditions (such as Parkinson's disease, cervical spondylosis, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or cerebral palsy)
- Easily Fatigued - no longer feel confident in activities due to lingering tiredness.
- Fibromyalgia - fatigue stemming from chronic musculoskeletal pain
- Heart disease
- Arthritis (or Rheumatoid Arthritis) - may cause stiffness and joint pain
- Respiratory conditions
- Certain systemic medical conditions (such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis)
- General aging
While there are other reasons that you may need a mobility device, the common signs above should be discussed with a medical professional versus trying to self-diagnose your specific condition and guess at its solution. Walking devices, such as traditional 4 post walkers or rollators, are assistive devices that help you maintain your independence by offering a way to support your daily mobility activity.
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