A lot of people with disabilities have a major problem with mobility. Mobility aids such as electric wheelchairs, lift vans, and rollers have been developed by technology. Mobility aids are used for people with diabetes, MS, Parkinson's disease, back pain, cerebral palsy, and many other physical restricting conditions for people with disabilities and/or health problems also called Ambulation aids.
Mobility aids help walk or travel from one position to another whether they're disabled, old, or injured. Mobility aids include items such as walkers, canes, crutches, motorized scooters, and manual and electric wheelchairs. Walking aids are devices designed to help walk or enable mobility.
All about walking aids
Walking aids are often called rehabilitation aids. A walking aid is one of the aids that can be provided by a patient to enhance their walking pattern, balance or health when independently mobilizing. These can also be a way of moving weight from the upper limb to the bottom, in situations where the lower limb is needed to minimize weight-bearing.
A mobility aid is a tool intended to help people with a mobility disability walk or otherwise improve mobility. Various walking aids can support walking and wheelchairs or mobility scooters for more serious disabilities or longer journeys that would otherwise be performed on foot. The white cane and guide dog have a long tradition of use for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Other aids may help with mobility or move within a house, or where level changes are taking place.
The term "mobility aid" was initially referred mainly to mechanical devices with low technology. The term also appears in official records, dealing, for example, with different kinds of tax concessions. It refers to those tools whose usage allows for a similar freedom of movement to that of unassisted walking or getting up from a chair. Technical advances can be expected to significantly expand the reach of these devices, by using sensors and auditory or tactile feedback.
Studies have found a decline in quadriceps use during the stance process due to a decrease in knee extender movement. Due to the increased forward trunk bending, there is also an increase in hip flexion in the stance process. During roller-walking, the reduced knee flexion may probably explain the reduced ankle joint dorsiflexion found in this case.
Canes are similar to crutches, as they bear the weight of the body and help transfer the load from the legs to the upper body. These take less weight off the lower body, though, than crutches and put more pressure on the hands and wrists. The white canes are specifically designed to support visually disabled people. White canes are longer and narrower than conventional canes, enabling the user to spot items along the way. They even inform others if the individual is blind or visually impaired.
A walker is a walking aid that has four contact points with the ground, and typically has three sides with the patient's closest side being accessible. This has a larger support base than a walking stick and is hence more used to stabilize patients with weak balance and mobility. Having a caregiver and being unable to walk faster than one meter per second has been correlated strongly with the use of walking frames.
Paradoxically, the use of walkers or frames was associated with an increased risk of falling in both neighborhood residents and residential care residents. Using a walker can also increase metabolic and musculoskeletal demands, so medication and education are important to help the consumer maintain their balance, reduce their risk of falling and improve their level of exercise.
Growing trends in mobility technology
Peripheral nervous system interface (PNS) control
Prosthetic control at the upper extremity is difficult because of both the number of potential movements to be controlled and the restricted number of locations for conventional control interfaces. An advantageous option is to operate a prosthetic arm or hand from the same nerve that once held afferent and efferent information between the arm and the brain. This approach would potentially be more accessible for the consumer and would include a means to provide sensory input.
Improved user-technology integration
The solutions found for improving integration can be narrowly divided into three non-mutually exclusive areas including improvements in the functionality of assistive technology; improvements in the physical interface of user technology; and enhanced shared control between the consumer and the machine. Improvements to the mechanics of technology require developments in hardware and software.
Improvements to the physical interface usually centered on better exploiting user's ability to use the system and providing more intuitive control of devices. The panel noted a move towards improved incorporation of user-technology into four main technologies: powered wheelchairs, prosthetics, practical electrical stimulation, and exoskeletons robotics.
Prosthetic limb control
The complexities of prosthetic development include replacing both the efferent nervous system (i.e., motion) and the afferent nervous system (i.e., sensory feedback). Once all efferent and afferent mechanisms are properly replaced, adequate prosthetic limb function is achieved.
In Europe, three innovative methods were found to better interface with the patient and their prosthesis. his included improved computer vision control, which is an example of enhancing both the unit and the shared control system; peripheral nervous system interfaces, an example of improved interfaces; and kinematic/ kinetic-based control, a mechanism that enhances limb mechanics through software and offers better interface. The first two methods target the prosthetic function of the upper limb, and the third target the lower limb.
High proliferation of osteoporosis & arthritis and increased awareness; adoption of canes, crutches & walkers are projected to drive walking aids market growth over the forecast period. In addition, factors such as technological advances, an increasing number of initiatives and funding from governments and international organizations, and a growing number of post-surgery rehabilitation programs are expected to contribute to market growth.
Free Valuable Insights: Global Walking Aids Market to reach a market size of USD 3.3 billion by 2025
Although all walking aids do have the same purpose effectively, it is clear that there are several different approaches to achieve improved mobility and businesses are going their separate ways to do that. And while dealers can guarantee that walking aids are going to be sold, being on board with the correct suppliers and products is crucial to producing a successful end-user outcome, a strong margin and repeat business.