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Help with walking and mobility

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Do you have difficulty walking or moving around? This page provides suggestions on how you might overcome this problem so that you can get about more independently and safely.

Physiotherapy

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. They specialise in working with people who are experiencing difficulties with their walking.

After an assessment a physiotherapist may offer one or more of the following:-

  • A programme of exercises to help you to become stronger and to improve your walking
  • Advice on how you might take a different approach to your walking so that you are safer
  • Advice on equipment and aids which might be suitable for you

Physiotherapists may also be able to assist people with severe and chronic pain by recommending exercises and equipment.

How to contact a physiotherapist

Depending on your situation you may be offered the chance to see a physiotherapist following a spell in hospital, or after seeing a GP, district nurse, social worker or other health and social care professional.

You can refer yourself or someone you know to the physiotherapy service provided by your local Community Independence Service - find the contact details on our Regaining Your Independence page.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy website allows you to search for private physiotherapists in your area. 

You can also find a physiotherapist using the search facility on the Physio First website. 

The NHS website has information about physiotherapy, how to access it privately or through the NHS, and the techniques that a physiotherapist may use to treat you. 

Specialist equipment, including walking sticks and walking frames, can enable you to walk more safely, steadily and independently.

The Disability Living Foundation's Ask Sara feature allows you to assess your walking needs on-line, and then suggests equipment which will be suitable for you.

And on our Equipment to help at home page you can find a list of some of the many private companies who sell mobility and other equipment.

If you are experiencing problems with walking, have been experiencing falls, or are worried about the risk of falling over,  it is worth taking a look at our page on Preventing falls in the home.

It's best to consider all of the other options available to you before you look to use a wheelchair to get around, because your leg muscles will become weaker the less you use them. But some people find that they simply have no choice but to use a wheelchair at least some of the time.

Depending on your situation you may need a wheelchair permanently to get about, or you may just require one if you are going out and about or to make the most of a special occasion. Using a wheelchair can give you extra independence and a sense of security. 

You can go to the wheelchair service page to find out more.

You may also find it useful to look at our page on Mobility scooters.

You can consider installing a small, secure safe outside your home with a set of your keys in it. Anyone wanting to access the keys will need to know a code number which you will set, and can then give only to people whom you know and trust. This means that if you have had a fall and are in difficulty, and / or have used an alarm or the phone to call for help, someone will be able to gain access to your property

The Key Safe Company are one of many companies who sell a range of secure key safes.

Easy read button

The Easy Health website has gathered together various easy-to-read leaflets which will help people with learning disabilities to understand more about physiotherapy.

The Which website offers advice on dealing with mobility problems.