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5 Common Conditions That Warrant Using Walking Devices

Walking aids are essential assistive devices for patients with mobility or balance issues. They are a convenient alternative for patients moving from one point to another. They are also handy for aged patients at risk of falling.

Besides age, some conditions may predispose patients to use walking aids. Examples of walking aids include wheelchairs, canes, rollators, crutches, and knee walkers. Doctors may recommend specific walking aids depending on a patient’s condition. Alternatively, patients can choose their most comfortable walking aid. This blog highlights common conditions that warrant patients using walking aids.

1. Amputation(s)

Amputees may benefit from walking aids to ease their movement. A common assistive device for such patients entails crutches, as they reduce the weight on the amputated leg, improving balance. Amputees with functional hands can use crutches to move around without needing additional help.

However, patients with amputated legs and hands cannot use crutches, necessitating wheelchairs. These devices restore amputees’ mobility, allowing them to resume their normal schedules. Moreover, wheelchairs may prove more stable and comfortable than artificial limbs and clutches.

2. Cerebral Palsy

Doctors may recommend assistive devices for patients with cerebral palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy alters patients’ balance and coordination, predisposing them to falls. Moreover, such patients lack quick movements — an integral to preventing slips and falls.

Such patients can use canes or walking sticks as the first-line option; they are cheaper than other alternatives. Moreover, some walking sticks are adjustable, meaning patients do not need to purchase new ones as their body posture changes. In extreme situations, doctors may recommend wheelchairs for patients with severe cognitive decline; wheelchairs are very stable, reducing the risk of falls.

3. Muscular Dystrophy

Patients with muscular dystrophy lose their muscle mass, becoming frail over time. A common symptom is losing balance, resulting in falls. Such patients require walking aids to reduce the pressure on their muscles.

Patients with mild muscular dystrophy can use canes sparingly depending on their environments. However, they may transition to safer aids over time. For example, wheelchairs offer the safest alternative because patients in their terminal phases experience muscle stiffness and cramps, resulting in sudden falls mid-walking. Moreover, the patients’ frailty means that even simple falls could be traumatic.

4. Traumatic Brain Injury

Patients diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) need close monitoring because of their symptoms’ severity and underlying risks. For example, TBI patients may experience periodic seizures that occur without warning. For example, the attack may happen when walking, causing them to fall and sustain fatal concussions. Thus, it would be best to acquire a wheelchair for such patients.

Recovering patients may transition from wheelchairs to other walking devices over time. For example, they may transition to rollators to exercise their muscles and re-learn how to walk. They may later use canes upon regaining their balance.

5. Parkinson’s Disease

Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may lose their cognitive functions gradually until they cannot walk. Each stage of the condition warrants suitable walking aids to improve their quality of life. For example, patients with early-stage PD experience mild muscle twitches that disrupt their movement slightly; they can use canes to reinforce their balance.

However, patients with PD may use wheelchairs as the condition deteriorates; the symptoms worsen, impairing balance and muscle movements. Such patients may withdraw socially, especially after losing their cognitive functions. Patients may overcome this challenge by using assistive devices, as they can move without the fear of falling and sustaining injuries.

Patients with conditions that undermine their balance should acquire wheelchairs to improve mobility. Those living in or around Minnesota may visit Corner Home Medical to purchase a wheelchair that suits their needs.