How to Use a Walker On the Stairs

Cindy demonstrates How to Use a Walker On the Stairs for both non weight bearing and partial weight bearing. No matter what device is being used on the stairs, we always lead up the stairs with the good/strong leg first and down the stairs with the bad/weak/injured/surgical leg first. The walker is placed sideways on the stairs, opposite a handrail if present. If there is no handrail for assistance, the walker goes on the side opposite of the weak/injured/surgical leg. We always recommend having the assistance of another person when at all possible. Walker wheels can be placed on the inside of the walker to assist with placement of all four legs on the steps depending on step width.

Going up the Stairs

Turn the walker sideways
Place the front walker legs on the first step above you, the walker will now sit at an angle upward on the steps
Place hand on the front handle of the walker, apply pressure to check for stability
Push down on the front handle of the walker and handrail to support the weak leg as you step up with the strong leg (non weight bearing- hop up with the strong leg)
Then step up with the weak leg (non weight bearing- holding weak leg up to clear step before hopping up with the strong leg )
Pull the walker forward up to the next step with the front legs resting on the step above you ****Due to varying step width, both sets of walker legs may not fully rest on both steps. Make sure to always apply pressure through the weight bearing handle (front when going up the stairs) of the walker to check for stability before stepping up to the next step.

Going down the steps

Turn the walker sideways
Place the back walker legs on the step beside you
Place hand on the back handle of the walker, apply pressure to check for stability ****Due to varying step width, both sets of walker legs may not fully rest on both steps. Make sure to always apply pressure through the weight bearing handle (back when going down the stairs) of the walker to check for stability before stepping down to the next step.
Push down on the back walker handle and handrail, shift weight onto strong leg and step down with the weak leg (non weight bearing- hold injured leg forward in order to clear the step)
Then step down with the strong leg (non weight bearing- hop down with strong leg)
Move the walker down to so that the back legs again rest on the step beside you

Please consult with your local Physical Therapist on your specific circumstances!

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DISCLAIMER: Cindy is a licensed Physical Therapist; however, this video and any related comments are for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace instruction or recommendations given to you by your physician, physical or occupational therapist. All questions or concerns regarding an individual’s situation or circumstances should be referred to your professional healthcare team.

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