Trouble with balance is a common issue that a lot of adults face. The exact signs and symptoms of balance problems can vary, from a constant sense of motion to feelings of lightheadedness, unsteadiness, falling, dizziness, experiencing a floating sensation, and vision changes that make it hard to maintain balance. A part of managing balance problems and maximizing one’s safety is using walking aids.
Here are what the medical device industry to be the best walking aids for balance problems.
1. Single-Point Cane
A single-point cane is ideal for someone with decent upper body strength and only mild balance issues. A single-point cane is perhaps the most inexpensive walking aid for balance and is widely available. Many canes fold down for easy storage, perfect for someone with intermittent balance problems. This contrasts with how a walker works which does not have the same foldability or portability.
A single-point cane is also easy to store. However, a cane may not offer all the stability you need for more moderate to severe balance symptoms.
2. Rolling Walker
A rolling walker is sometimes called a rollator, wheeled, or two-wheeled walker. It is a frame with handlebars and a seat placed on wheels. It allows you to use it for balance while also providing somewhere to sit if you are waiting in a line or where seating is unavailable.
This increases comfort for individuals suffering from symptoms of arthritis, back pain, muscle weakness, decreased stamina, and balance problems. Rolling walkers are great for these conditions and other afflictions, irrespective of a person’s age.
3. Quad Cane
A quad cane has four points instead of a single-point cane at the end. With four points of contact, there is more stability. A quad cane may be recommended for individuals with worsening balance problems. The downsides to quad canes are that they rarely fold and, like single-point canes, there are weight limits.
Many people incorrectly use canes or purchase them in the wrong size, putting unnecessary stress on other body parts and affecting the body’s endurance to get around. Do your research if you are considering a cane of any type for your walking aid.
Someone may rarely reach for crutches as a long-term solution to balance problems. Crutches are designed for individuals with strong upper body strength and short-term use. Crutches used correctly can support a full person’s body weight, preventing them from having to bear weight on a specific area of their lower extremities.
The disadvantages of crutches, however, are that they do not allow one to use their hands while walking and require a lot of endurance to use regularly. Certainly, other walking aids for permanent use are more accommodating to the average person.
5. Forearm Crutches
Forearm crutches are also sometimes referred to as Canadian crutches or Lofstrand crutches. They provide more support from the forearms and are designed for people with weakness in the upper and lower extremities. Forearm crutches are easier to maneuver, encourage a more normal gait among users, and a user can momentarily free a hand while the wrist cuff remains in place.
The only downside to forearm crutches is that they require physical endurance and can be tiring. They also can only hold half a person’s body weight, so they must have more mobility than standard crutches.
A standard walker, or walking frame, is a three-sided metal frame with wheels underneath, plastic skis, or rubber tips that can help it glide across floors and carpets. For people with severe balance problems and moderate weakness, a walker can help even across short distances. Walkers tend to assist in making it to the bathroom without accompaniment.
Be it a standard walker or a wheeled walker, these walking aids offer the best stability of all walking aids. Many people find that they can better move around the room using a walker than any other option.
Which Is The Best Walking Aid for You?
Which walking aid for balance trouble you choose will depend on how long your balance issues persist and personal preference. A person will want a walking aid that provides mobility and stability to move freely without worrying about a fall or becoming disoriented. There are lots of medical professionals that can offer consultation on what the best walking aid is.
However, to save you the trip, in many cases, rolling walkers are the go-to many physicians recommend. The stability they offer is second-to-none, and you have the added benefit of a seat to rely on for rest when needed.