Have pain? The wonderful world of walking aids, braces, slings, and splints that make getting around easier

Some general tips that make it easier to choose the right aid for the job

I’m at your service to simplify the process. 


I want you to feel confident in motion, so if you feel like you need a little extra support to minimize your risk of injury due to weakness, assistive devices might be a good option for you. 

It’s always a good idea to make this decision with a physiotherapist you trust, as we are the movement experts. Assuming you have already taken this step, let’s take a scoping look at the world of assistive devices and how they differ.   

There are some seemingly small features that have made my patient’s either LOVE or toss their assistive devices into the back of their closet, never to be seen again. 

No. 1

The cardinal rule of all assisted devices is if it aint comfortable, it needs reevaluation. Pay attention to areas of pressure, redness, or that vague sense of discomfort that might be hinting to you that your device is not set to accommodate your body as is right now. One example of this is that see a lot of walkers set too high, only to discover that people also have noticed a shoulder discomfort that they thought came with the territory didn’t warrant a conversation. 

Your comfort is king

Every. Single. Time. 


No 2. Functionality

Do you have a device that works well, if only it wasn’t impossible to get on? Making decisions often requires a tradeoff, so considering the impact of using no device on many occasions, something that hits the mark for working well and is reasonable to put on with or without a little help really is a grey area. This is the main reason I think having a few people weigh in on your options is a good idea. My advice is to take your time and consider the little details of the device- the kind of clasp it uses to secure for example and whether those clasps are on the front or the back. The little details can make a big difference. 

Whenever possible, try before you buy.

The time you spend on the front end making the decision can save you time and money in the future.

No 3. Cost

In Alberta, we have a program called “Alberta Aids to Daily living” that covers the cost of assistive devices for some people who qualify and a short term health equipment loan program provided by the Red Cross Society. Your local home care coordinator might be an excellent start point on your journey to discover assistive device funding and health equipment loan programs near you. 

My hopes are that every person can feel comfortable participating in activities I have like this scavenger hunt like this one I have below. Stay tuned to learn more about splints, braces, slings and gait aids for specific conditions. 


Remember, you can register your email address below if you want to ensure this guidance reaches you. 


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