How Do You Use A Rollator Walker Properly?
Nobody really wants to use a rollator walker, but if you have poor balance or mobility or back, hip, or knee pain, in some cases, it may be the best option.
Whether you need to use a rollator walker on a short-term basis or a long-term basis, if you're going to use one, you may as well use it correctly. Here's how to use a rollator walker properly.
What Is A Rollator Walker?
A rollator walker is a 4-wheeled walker with a seat. The one shown in the video above is the Stride Mover Ergonomic 4-Wheel Rollator Walker.
How To Adjust A Rollator Walker To The Proper Height
To use a rollator walker properly, it starts by getting it adjusted correctly.
First, adjust the handles to a height that aligns roughly with your wrists when your arms are hanging by your sides.
You don't want it too high, but you also don't want it so low that you really have to lean down to reach on it.
How To Walk With A Rollator Walker Properly
When you're walking, you don't want to get the walker too far out in front of you because it could get away from you, and you could potentially fall.
However, you don't want to be snugged up so close inside of it either. That puts your back in too much extension and it doesn't give you space to step.
So you really want to have a slight lean forward trunk lean where your shoulders are over top of the handles and your arms are hanging directly down.
You should be able to put weight down through the rollator so that you can offload your body weight when you're walking.
This takes some of the weight off your legs and spine and allows you to walk more comfortably.
Then as you're walking, you just walk as you normally would.
Using A Rollator Walker Is Easy
There's not too much to think about when you're using a rollator walker vs. a standard walker. Since you don't have to think about picking it up and stepping, it's much easier to learn how to walk with a rollator.
Using a rollator is also much easier than walking with a cane because sequencing doesn't matter that much.
Once you've kind of offloaded your weight, you just walk as you normally would.
Benefits Of Using A Rollator Walker
Now, there are other benefits to using a rollator walker.
It allows you to exercise for longer periods of time because you have less pain in your knees and your hips and your back.
Additionally it allows you to walk for a period of time and then sit down on the seat to rest. Then you can get back up and walk a little farther.
You don't have to worry about getting too far away from home and getting stuck somewhere because you're too tired or sore. You always have a place to sit down.
How To Sit Down On A 4-Wheel Walker With Seat
Before you sit down, you want to make sure to take some safety precautions.
Rollator walkers have hand brakes that help if you're going downhill. The brakes also lock.
So make sure that you lock the brakes before you sit down, so that the walker doesn't slide out from behind you.
Even with the brakes locked though, the walker still can slide a little bit.
So you want to make sure you're holding onto the handles and you have it securely underneath of you. Then sit down.
Once you're sitting, you can rest and relax until you're ready to stand back up and start walking again.
How To Stand Up From A 4 Wheel Walker With Seat
When you go to stand up from the rollator walker, the same principles apply.
Make sure that you have the brakes locked.
Get your feet underneath of you, and then lean your trunk forward slightly to get your "nose over your toes".
Next use your hands push up on the handles so that you're pushing it down into the ground.
That helps you to stand up without the walker getting away from you.
Hopefully you found these tips helpful to learn how to use a rollator walker.
Using a rollator walker can be extremely helpful for people with poor balance or for people who have back, hip, or knee pain when walking. However, if you're going to use one, make sure to follow the safety precautions above.
Need help to improve your walking?
If you're in the St. Louis area and need help to improve your balance when walking, or to be able to walk farther with less pain, tap the button below to request an appointment with one of our specialist physical therapists.