Crutches, Canes and Walkers – Are They Being Used Correctly?

Do you have employees that are injured and require one of these aids to get around? Have you ever tried to walk using crutches or a walker? It is really not all that easy to get used to. Many people use these aids improperly and are risking further injury to themselves.

I spent many years working in an ER and found that most people are not able to get up and use crutches or walkers on their first try. I can recall spending quite a bit of time with patients, teaching them the proper way to use these aids. Having your injured employees understand how to use these aids is crucial to their recovery, and even for possible prevention of further injury.

Crutches, walkers, and even canes help your legs heal by bearing the weight you would normally put on your legs. However, the benefits can only be realized if the devices are used properly. Crutches that are too long can press on the nerves in your underarms, causing tingling, numbness and/or loss of muscle strength. Crutches, walkers, and canes that are too short, or mismatched, can cause back pain and falls.

In Health and Wellness Rooms, injured employees are taught, among other things, how to properly use their walking aids. Through guidance and self studies, an employee can learn the proper way to use these aids and help prevent the prolonging of their recovery. Knowledge helps create confidence that can help them when taking those steps towards recovery and returning to work. An added benefit: when employees feel that their employer has their best interest in mind, they are more inclined to return to work.

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