How to Make a Knee Scooter More Comfortable
- At Rent a Knee Walker, we've heard thousands of success stories from our costumers. A lot of them see it as a welcome addition to their recovery—many often praising them as lifesavers—as opposed to an unnecessary evil of using crutches. By design, knee walkers are built for comfort.
But every once in awhile, we get complaints from customers regarding discomfort they feel when using knee scooters. Often, their knee hurts from using the knee scooter. Almost always, making simple adjustments resolves the issue.
How to make your knee scooter more comfortable
In this article, we will cover these 7 fixes:
Choose the Proper Model
All knee walkers perform great indoors, but not all of them excel at prolonged outdoor use. Wheels play a big roll in comfort. When you use a standard knee scooter indoors, you are riding over smooth and leveled surfaces. These models are equipped with solid tires, which, for example, are used in rough concrete, will make for a bumpy ride.
All the vibrations caused by the cracks, raised bumps, any rocks and debris will travel through the solid tires to the rest of the knee walker.
On the other hand, an all-terrain model like the Orthomate will have bigger air-filled rubber tires. These have the advantage of absorbing all the shock from rough outdoor surfaces.
The issue with using an all-terrain scooter indoors is the increased friction when making turns. This is because the rubber wheels don't glide as well on surfaces like laminate flooring or tiles. They also tend to leave scuff marks on hardwood or tile floors.
Don't get me wrong; this doesn't mean you absolutely need an all-terrain scooter to go outside to walk the dog. So if you spend a lot of your time outdoors, make sure you are using an all-terrain knee scooter. For indoors, a scooter like the Swivelmate will do the job just great and provide you with better and easy maneuverability.
You can read more on the subject of air-filled vs. solid tires below:
Related: Solid Tires VS. Air-Filled Tires
Use Proper Riding Posture
Your knee walker should adjust to you, not the other way around.
Proper posture will ensure that you can ride the knee scooter comfortably. Additionally, it will prevent back pain and knee pain from your injured leg. You should be able to stand straight in your usual relaxed posture, not hunched over.
Your injured knee should rest comfortably on the knee rest pad and bent at a 90-degree angle.
Wear comfortable shoes with a good grip when scooting. Be careful when wearing sandals and flip flops—they run the risk of getting caught on the wheels.
Set Proper Knee Rest Orientation
There are cases where people experience pain in their good leg. When they make a stride, sometimes their ankle hits the side of the scooter frame. This is due to the knee rest being distanced too far from your good leg.
To solve this problem, newer and more comfort-forward scooters have an adjustable knee rest to accommodate a right or left foot injury better. Two of our most popular models, the Swivelmate and the Orthomate, already come standard with adjustable knee pads.
If you have a different scooter, refer to the user manual if the feature is available and how to properly set.
Adjust the Knee Rest to the Proper Height
Knee pain and discomfort when riding is caused when you don't adjust the knee rest (where you place your injured leg) to the proper height. Correct knee rest height should be the same as the distance between your bent knee to the floor.
You can refer to this guide for more detailed steps on how to measure to determine your proper knee rest height.
If your knee rest is set too high, a few things will happen. You will be putting too much strain on your knee. You won't be able to rest your good leg on solid ground and will have difficulty making confident strides. All this equates to not having a proper balance on your knee scooter—which can lead to tipping over and overall discomfort when riding.
If your knee rest is set too low, you will have difficulty making comfortable strides with your good leg. You will either be putting too much pressure on your injured leg's knee or on your good leg. Again, you won't be able to maintain a good balance with the scooter when riding.
You should be able to rest your knee comfortably on the knee rest pad, and your good foot should stand firmly on the ground.
Adjust the Handlebar to the Proper Height.
Improper handlebar height can cause you to hunch over the scooter, leading to back pain or hip discomfort. Additionally, you will not be able to support yourself effectively. This will cause you to tire quickly.
The handlebars should be at the same level as your weight. Your hands should be able to extend to reach the handlebars are a comfortable and relaxed distance.
On some models, you can also adjust the angle of the handlebar steering rod. This feature allows users who are tall or have long arms to properly fit the distance of the handlebars so they can have a comfortable reaching distance.
Use a Knee Pad Cover
Sometimes, prolonged knee walker use can cause a bit of discomfort on your resting leg. Add to these factors like humidity and heat. And many cheap models of knee scooters will come with a substandard knee rest pad that provides minimal cushion. If you are looking for extra comfort, consider purchasing a knee pad cover instead of using something like a towel on your scooter's knee rest.
A cover on the knee pad can provide extra comfort, circulate air around your leg, and prevent your leg from sticking to the pad.
Knee pad covers are available with different types of pad cover material: memory foam, comfy cushion, and fleece.
You can read more about them below:
Related: Difference Between Fleece And Memory Foam Knee Pad Cover
Don't Overexert Yourself
Sometimes overall discomfort comes from simply overexerting your body by doing a prolonged activity while on your knee walker. While they are excellent devices to keep going around, it's important not to abuse its capabilities.
For example, it's probably not the best idea to go on a 5-mile outdoor "walk" on your scooter or be standing for hours painting the interior of a house.
Remember, you have an injury. Please go easy on your injured leg and give it plenty of rest. Don't overexert yourself physically.
Knee walkers are excellent devices that allow you to continue life as usual as much as possible during your healing process. They're designed to keep you moving while providing comfort. They must deliver on this promise. Adjusting for these comfort tips solves the majority of the issues people have.
But ultimately—if you feel pain or discomfort on or near your injury, always consult with your doctor to screen for any potential complications.
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