After surgery or injury, mobility is always a concern. Knee scooters have been a great mobility alternative to crutches and are often used to help quicken the recovery process and avoid staying stationary. Safer and easier to use, many often look forward to using a knee scooter during recovery.
Despite being preferred over the alternative, some still experience discomfort while using their knee scooter. Keep reading to learn more about how to battle the discomfort. There are several steps you can take to assure maximum comfort and swiftest healing.
- Selecting the right model
- More rugged model for rough terrain
- Proper tires for the surfaces you will be on
- Adjustments for Proper posture
- The knee rest height
- Selecting left or right leg adjustment
- The height of the handlebars
- Using a knee pad
- Start slow and practice using the scooter
- Learning to properly and smoothly use the brakes
Model Type: Foundation of Your Scooter Decision
The model of knee scooter you have may play a large role in your comfortability while riding. While all knee walkers work well indoors, a few of them do poorly if used on outdoor terrain for long periods of time. The biggest difference between the various models is the wheel types.
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Selecting a knee scooter with the proper wheels will ensure a comfortable ride, whether crossing rough or smooth ground. The two types of wheels, solid and air-filled, each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Your specific lifestyle and everyday environment will determine what type is best suited for you.
These are the tires you see more often on knee scooters. The most positive aspect of this tire style is that it does not go flat. These tires provide a quality grip and stable ride, both inside and outside. A key giveaway that your tires are not filled with air is that they are much narrower.
This narrow shape and size allow for your knee scooter to have better maneuverability, making corners and curves a breeze. Furthermore, the narrow wheels make navigation in smaller indoor spaces easier as well.
While solid tires seem enticing, they do have their flaws. Although these tires can be used both indoors and outdoors, the lack of air and slim build makes every bump and crack easily felt.
Opposite of their counterpart, air-filled tires are favored for outdoor use. Because the tires resemble bike tires, they usually offer a smoother and more comfortable ride allowing the user to pass over bumps and cracks with ease. Although outdoor lovers and athletes highly prefer these models for their more cushioned support, the comfort is also accompanied by several downfalls.
- Assembly – Some of these types of scooters and tires come pre-assembled, but many require a bit of assembly time. If you recently underwent surgery or suffered an injury, you may be unable to spend an extended period of time on the floor, putting all of the pieces together.
- Scuff Marks – Due to the better grip these tires provide, they have a reputation for leaving signature black scuff marks behind. If you are also planning on taking advantage of your scooter indoors on uncarpeted floors, you may want to consider alternative options.
- Turning Radius – Bulkier than solid tires, these tires are often harder to steer and require more effort from the rider. With a poorer turning radius, you may have to turn around with a 3-point turn.
- Vulnerability Much like your vehicle, these tires are also susceptible to puncture holes and air loss.
Selecting your tire type and model really comes down to where and how you take advantage of your knee scooter. If you need or choose to recover at home and only venture outside briefly, solid tires may be a more comfortable option. Whereas if you are an athlete or outdoor adventurer, you may experience a healthier and happier recovery outside.
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Position: Make or Break Your Healing Experience
Similar to how improper chair posture can cause discomfort, improper posture on knee scooters can create a similar experience. There are multiple ways to increase comfort when using a knee scooter by paying closer attention to your posture and your scooter position.
Many people are quick to adjust themselves to ride their scooter, forgetting that the scooter should be adjusted to them instead. Before adjusting your scooter, ensure the positioning will be accurate by having the right posture yourself first, with these helpful tips:
- Rest your knee comfortably om the knee pad at a 90-degree angle
- Stand up in your usual straight yet relaxed posture, not hunching over
- Avoid wearing sandals, flip flops, or other uncomfortable shoes, for they increase your risk of injury and can make riding more difficult.
Assuring that your posture is proper first will make sure your knee scooter’s position will help and not harm you and your healing process. Riding properly and comfortably will prevent any further or additional injury and avoid back pain.
Your scooter itself can also be adjusted similar to a bike seat or driver’s seat to ensure the most comfortable operation and control. The knee rest and handlebars can both be adjusted to fit your most preferred position.
Keeping your knee rest positioned close to your good leg will not only allow for more consistent strides, but it will also prevent you from smacking your good leg and ankle on the scooter itself.
Many scooters now come with adjustable knee rests to accommodate injuries in either leg. Not only can knee rests be adjusted for both the right and left leg, but they can also be adjusted to accommodate different heights. The proper position of your knee rest should be just below the bent knee.
Improper position of the knee rest can not only make it more difficult to get around, but it will use more of your energy. By making inconsistent strides because of improper positioning, your balance will be thrown off and may cause both discomforts and an increased chance of tipping over.
Much like your knee rest, your handlebars can also be adjusted. By having adjustable handlebars, models can be used by people of all different heights. To position your handlebars for the highest level of comfort, they should be at waist level so that when extended, your arms are relaxed.
The handlebars’ position may improve your experience, but for maximum comfort, many are taking advantage of handle grips. Many manufacturers produced grips are made of hard and rigid plastic, with an unfriendly shape. Slip-on foam tubes or gel grips can create a more comfortable steering experience.
Knee Pads: Additional Protection and Comfort
The chaffing caused by crutches is something one hopes to leave behind when they utilize a knee scooter during recovery, but constantly bearing weight on your knee can be uncomfortable as well. The increased heat and humidity can cause an irritating and sticky situation. For increased comfort, many opt for knee pad covers.
Knee pads provide additional comfort by circulating air and softening the surface against which you’re bearing weight. These are made of various types of materials:
- Memory Foam
Safety: Practice and Precautions
Another way to increase your riding experience of your knee scooter is with practice. By practicing and taking your time, you will have a safer experience. If you are using a knee scooter, it is most likely because you recently suffered an injury or underwent surgery, and it will take some time to get used to this type of maneuvering.
Brakes: Slow Your Roll
By taking time to understand how your scooter’s brakes work, you will find getting on and off your knee scooter a less nerve-wracking experience. The brakes are designed to lock into place to prevent you from slipping while getting on and off of your scooter.
Additionally, the brakes come in handy when turning and riding downhill by giving you full control of your speed. By feeling safer on your scooter, you will experience a much more comfortable experience.