Walking training for amputees
In addition to training balance and strength, it is also important to train to walk.
The goal of learning the right walking technique is to be able to walk as safely and energy-saving as possible. Go both indoors and outdoors. Go forward, backward and sideways.
Focus on how you use your muscles
Focus on using the muscles in the stump. If you have a thigh amputation, feel that you are tightening the back of the thigh and the seat. If you have a leg amputation, feel that you are using the thigh muscle and the inside of the thigh. Take equal length steps with both legs. Focus on getting a steady rhythm.
Train on uneven ground also to increase the speed gradually
Walk on grass, gravel, sand or other uneven ground and also train to increase the pace when you walk. Increase the pace by taking a longer step with the remaining leg first. Bring your arms and upper body into the movement (right arm follows left leg and vice versa).
Practice turning around and changing direction
Also practice changing direction and turning: Start turning with your hips. Use the prosthetic foot and do not just stand on the remaining legs when turning. Take short but equally long steps and turn both right and left. Practice making a steady, steady motion as you turn.
Look around for places in the house or the local environment where you can exercise. For example, you can perform exercises at a table or kitchen counter. Support yourself with your arms if you need to.
Start walking sideways with your remaining leg first. Focus on keeping your pelvis straight
during the exercise and avoid leaning too much against the prosthesis side when moving the remaining legs. Vary the stride length and speed. Another exercise is to cross (see Figure 17.1)
Practice climbing stairs
Going up stairs is good exercise.
Do what you feel most comfortable with first, and never go faster than what feels safe for you.
Up the stairs:
First the non-amputated leg, then the amputated leg together with the crutches.
Down the stairs:
First the amputated leg together with the crutches, then the non-amputated leg (see figure 17.2).
After a while, you will find the way that suits you best