The standard type adult walkers are beneficial to patients with cerebellar ataxia.
The term “ataxia” came from the Greek word “a taxis,” which means without coordination. In medical term, ataxia refers to the damage to a part of the brain called the cerebellum. Doctors call this condition as cerebellar ataxia. The cerebellum controls movement and balance. People with cerebellar ataxia have problems with coordination because the system that controls balance and movement is affected.
The cause of cerebellar ataxia can either be acquired or genetic. The common symptoms of this condition include poor coordination and unsteady walk.
Adult walkers are essentially walking frames. They are classified based on the presence and absence of wheels. The following are the different types of adult walkers:
-Standard adult walkers (without wheels)
-Front-wheeled type (with two wheels)
Among the different types of adult walkers, the standard type is ideal for patients with cerebellar ataxia.
In an article published in the American Academy of Family Physicians website, Sara Bradley and Cameron Hernandez suggest that the standard type adult walkers may be useful for patients with cerebellar ataxia. According to Bradley and Hernandez from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the standard walker is the most stable walker.
The standard walker is a four-legged frame with rubber tips. In order to move forward, this walking aid has to be lifted off the ground in every step of the way.
Physical Requirements for Using Standard Type Adult Walkers
According to Bradley and Hernandez, in order to assess whether this walking aid is ideal for a patient with ataxia, these questions need to be asked:
1. Does this patient need one or both upper extremities for weight bearing or balance?
2. What frequency of weight bearing is needed?
If the answer to the first question is “both”; while the answer to the second question is “constant,” the standard type adult walker is the ideal mobility aid for the patient.
Because the standard type has to be lifted off the ground in every step of the way, users of this device tend to have a slower gait. It is also necessary that the user must have sufficient upper body strength in order to lift the device.