Choosing the right walking aid

As you age, it is not uncommon to have balance problems. Reasons could be as diverse as heel pain to dizzy spells. Once you have gone to the doctor and ensured that the underlying problem is being taken care, it may be a good idea to get your self a walking aid so as to avoid falls.

The simplest aid is a cane. They come in various materials from wood to plastic to metal, with different grips. You hold them in your stronger hand and use it to put some weight on them when you walk.

The next option is a tripod. It is similar to a regular cane, but has 3 legs at the bottom. The wider base affords you greater stability.

Another similar option is a quad cane or a quadripod. This is similar to a tripod, but has 4 legs at the bottom. All these canes are usually height adjustable except the wooden ones.

If your balance problem is severe, the other alternative is to use a walker. A walker is a four-legged contraption that provides you much greater stability. Within walkers you have static walkers, recriprocal walkers and reciprocal walkers with wheels. The static walker requires you to lift it and move forward each time, while the reciprocal walkers allow you to slide them forward, one side at a time. These afford the best support for people who find walking unaided difficult.

To check out all the mobility aids, go here.

If you have balance issues, keep an appropriate walking aid handy. Its much better to have a walking aid with you than to have a fall and break some bones!

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