Submissions from Readers

Why use a hemi-walker

Question: If we know that using a hemi-walker would cause further disuse of the affected side, thus causing more of an asymmetry, then why would we use it? Why not use a walker from the beginning so that we can incorporate bilateral integration?

Answer: Many individuals who have had stroke have to rely on a hemi-walker because they would not have sufficient grip in the affected arm to hold on to or push a regular walker which would make a regular walker unsafe. In addition, some individuals may have difficulty with falling to the weaker side and thus a regular walker might be less safe in this scenario as well. Of course if an individual is able to learn to incorporate both sides or has the potential to use the weak side, it would be prudent to work on it, but safety must always come first as falls can be detrimental and even fatal in some cases.

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