A leg lifter is a tool that is either powered or used manually to allow individuals with weaknesses in the lower half of their bodies, lift their legs from one platform to another with ease. It can be used to get in and out of bed or to make dressing up an easy and effortless process. The manual leg lifters have a rigid or flexible loop that accommodates your leg. A long strap extends from the loop to enable you to get a firm grip and move your leg around.
With its’ simple design, the manual leg lifters are a breeze to use. Just ensure that your bottom is positioned on the edge of the platform you are seated on. Whilst seated place the rigid hoop of the leg lifter around your foot hold onto the strap from wherever you feel comfortable (some leg lifters have a single loop at the top for your hand, to provide you with ultimate comfort when gripping. Others, have more than one loop, that is manufactured to accommodate individuals with differing heights. You can then move your legs onto the platform you are seated on, with the aid of gravity. You can either do this while you are lying on your side or flat on your back.
Using a leg lifter requires a strong upper body, as it is this part of your body that endures the weight of your legs. Also, moving your legs while using a leg lifter will most possibly cause some pain in your legs, due to the intense effort it takes to lift your legs. You may also feel a bit tired.
Why do I need a leg lifter?
The leg lifter will provide you with ultimate independence to do those every day activities; such as getting in and out of bed and entering and exiting the bath, with the simplicity that everybody deserves. It is for people who feel minor or major pain in their legs when they inflict some force on them while lifting and dropping.
Where do I get leg lifter from?
Leg lifters can be purchased from a medical equipment store, some pharmacies and online distributors. Their prices vary, depending on their durability and extra features; such as extra loops, rigidity in the foot and hand loops, as well as the strap. You can purchase the most basic one for about $9. It is always good to read reviews of the leg lifter you are looking to buy, to see the experience others have had with the particular lifter you are interested in. Below are 5 reviews of leg lifters that we feel will accommodate individuals of different heights and leg strengths.
Leg Lifter Strap by Vive
This leg lifter strap that is manufactured by Vive gives you the independence of lifting up your leg effortlessly, when your leg muscles are lacking the strength to do so on their own. It is an ideal tool for individuals who have gone through hip replacement, any type of surgery to the lower half of the body, or if you have feeble hip flexors and minor or major leg injuries. The loop that you slide your foot through is rigid and stays open even when not in use, so that you do not have to put excessive strain on your body by having to bend over to open the loop to accommodate your foot. It is made of strong durable material and has a long strap that makes it ideal for tall individuals.
The Leg Lifter Strap by Vive is ideal for anybody who has minor or major issues in the lower half of their bodies and will aid individuals with anything from surgeries to arthritic knees. It will provide you with the independence of getting in and out of your car and shower or up and down your bed with ease. It is also useful for when you’re trying to lift your leg up whilst getting dressed. The loop can be bent to fit the shape of your foot and will maintain that shape even when it is not in use, so that you will not have to go through the added trouble of bending down to try and mold it into shape.
The main downside of his leg lifter is that the steel wire inside the strap that gives it its rigidness, may cause some issues for shorter individuals, as this will restrict them from wrapping the strap around their hand to bring it to a comfortable ideal size. The steel wire inside the strap can also be problematic for individuals who are lacking some strength in their arms, as it makes it difficult for them to pull and lift their leg, as it lacks flexibility. Despite the steel wire, the strap is thin and therefore quite flimsy. The flimsiness suggests that the strap has a tendency to slip out of your hand and may require you to find something else to pick it up with from the ground.
DMI Reach Assist Dressing Aid Kit (Mabis DMI Healthcare)
This is an inexpensive 5 pieced dressing aid kit that will make the act of dressing an easy and comfortable process, putting your body at peace. It is ideal for individuals that have difficulty moving around and bending over, joint pains and individuals who have been through a minor or major surgery, particularly hip, knee and back surgery.
The Deluxe sock aid is designed to help you put your socks on without feeling the necessity to bend over. The Deluxe sock aid benefit is not limited to this but it also gives you the ability to pull up zippers and shoelace loops, as well as pulling on shirts, jackets, pants and skirts. It was very easy to use; all you have to do is slide the sock over the end of the sock aid and position it at the front of your feet. Then whilst seated, hold both straps and glide your toes into the sock. Continue to pull the straps until you are certain that the sock has totally concealed your foot. The Deluxe sock aid is also easy to wash as it is to use, just wash it by hand in warm soapy water, then hang to dry.
The 24” Ableware reacher aids you in picking up items with ease, regardless of whether they are on high shelves or on the floor. All without bending down. This reacher is light in weight and therefore easy to handle. The jaw extends to a maximum of 2.5” and ensures a firm grip on even the smallest of items. It also works efficiently with larger items, such as clothing and newspapers. The hook-like extension on the front can be used as a dressing aid.
Similarly, the 19.5” shoe horn, with its length eliminates the strain on your body caused by bending down, as it helps you wear your shoes whilst standing upright.
The 22.5” elongated bath sponge allows you to scrub your body without bending over. And, believe it or not, you can also use it for scrubbing those areas in your house that are hard to get at.
The 27” Dressing stick is a breeze to use. The two separate hooks enable you to carry out different actions. The small hook that is shaped like the letter C aids you in pulling zippers and shoelace loops. While the large hook helps you to put on your shirts, jackets and skirts with ease. You can also use it for removing socks.
Although the DMI Reach Assist Aid Kit comes with excellent tools that will certainly make everything from dressing, picking and cleaning an easy process, its inexpensiveness is reflected on the quality of the items, as they are all made with plastic. The plastic material suggests that, at times, when items are picked up they have the tendency to slip and fall back down. Also, plastic is not durable and so means that they cannot be used extensively and will most probably need to be replaced in a couple of months.
Ableware 70417000 Leg Loop Lifter
This Leg Loop lifter by Ableware is manufacturer to bring a sense of independence and ease into the lives of individuals with weakness in their legs that restrains their mobility. The foot loops ability to remain open till the strap is pulled and its quality of adapting to the shape of the foot ensures that your foot will remain stable when repositioning. The rigid strap provides you with the ability to easily manoeuvre the strap to wherever you want (i.e wheelchair, bed, car) It is light in weight and therefore easy to carry around. Its polypropylene 1” webbing gives the leg loop lifter is durability and ensures that you will be using it for a very long time. It is 36” in length.
The Ableware 70417000 Leg Loop Lifter gives you the ability to lift your foot into the bed, shower and car, without assistance from another person; giving you the choice to become independent and carry out these everyday activities with ease. It aids in eliminating any excessive stress that is endured by the tendons in your leg when bending them to lift. It is ideal for individuals with weaknesses in the lower half of their bodies, including people suffering from arthritis. You can also use it whilst recovering from an injury or surgery. The Ableware Leg Loop Lifter is designed in such a way that it ensures that your foot is tightly strapped around within the loop, enabling maximum security and control of the leg. The Leg Loop Lifter is made of excellent quality durable nylon, with a metal wire embedded into the strap and springy flexible wire into the foot loop that ensures that it is kept open, even when not in use. Just pull onto the strap to tighten it around your foot when using.
The downside of the Leg Loop Lifter is that if not used with caution the metal wire in the loop and strap can bend easily and therefore force you to put strain on your body to bend it into the ideal shape for you. Furthermore, when pulling the strap, if you are not careful and pull at it harshly you may cause the strap to bend and twist, which will in turn twist your own foot and leg, leaving you to assert more force to stabilize the leg. The loop is also quite narrow, making it difficult for you to use if you have chunky and bulky shoes on.
Helping Hand Homecare Adults Mobility Aids
The Helping Hand Homecare Adults Mobility Strap gives you the ability to safely and easily raise and lower your leg onto any surface that you desire. You can handle it with both one and two hands. It is machine washable and is 26” in length. It is ideal for individuals who find getting into and out of bed, the car, and shower a cumbersome process. It can also aid you whilst getting dressed and you can use it with a cast.
Drive Medical Lifestyle Leg Lifter
With its simple style the Drive Medical Lifestyle Leg Lifter provides you with an effortless method to lift your leg if you are suffering from any kind of weakness in the lower half of your body. It has both a hand and a foot loop, ensuring that you have a good grip on the lifter, as well as a platform to keep your foot in a stable position. It is 36” long, putting it amongst the longer leg lifters, meaning that it is ideal for taller individuals. You can use it when getting in and out of bed, the wheelchair, shower or car.
The Drive Medical Lifestyle Leg Lifter is very good value for money, and is amongst the inexpensive leg lifters. It is quite durable and so will provide you with the ability for extensive use as a physical therapy exercise band, particularly for those individuals who are doing exercises due to back and knee problems. However, if you are going to use it for exercising purposes then ensure that you wear socks or shoes, as the plastic support in the foot holder is rough and can cause harm to your feet. A metal rod is embedded within the foot loop, which suggests that it stays open when not in use, meaning that you do not need to bend down to undo the loop every time. It is extremely helpful if you are lacking strength in the lower half of your body, and will aid you in doing the simple action of moving from one platform to another without any assistance. It is ideal for individuals who have been through hip surgery, for those who endure back pain and have difficulty transferring oneself from one place to another. It can be used by handicapped individuals too.
The only downside of the Drive Medical Lifestyle Leg Lifter is that it cannot be adjusted to suit everyone’s height, and so may be unsuitable for shorter individuals.
Things to consider when buying a leg lifter
Leg lifters are tools that are designed to aid you when lifting your legs from a seated position, onto a higher platform. There are two types of leg lifters (although we only review one type). They come as either powered ones, or basic ones that are used manually.
Manual leg lifters:
These are also referred to as ‘dog lead’ leg lifters, as, with the loops on both sides (one for the foot and the other for the hand) and the strap that binds both loops, they resemble dog leads. While seated on the edge of the bed, place your foot into the looped end which is generally rigid, so that it maintains the shape of the foot even when not in use. Then while leaning back on the bed, you’re your foot up by tugging onto the hand loop. Having excellent balance when seated is a necessity, as your back will have to support your whole body. Lack of strength in the upper half of the body may cause overbalancing. Leg lifters are tools that provide independence and an assistance-free life.
Powered leg lifters:
Powered leg lifters are solid pads that are attached to the side of the bed and can be controlled with a controller, so that the pad lifts your legs from the floor to a horizontal position. When using the powered leg lifter, ensure that you have capability to sit up straight without assistance, and have maximum back strength, as lack of this may mean that you may overbalance and topple over. It is useful to know that these powered leg lifters can sometimes be really loud.
Other Manual Leg Lifters
Below are two other brands of manual leg lifters that I thought were worth checking out. A leg lifter is a necessity in the lives of those who have suffered severe or minor injuries to their legs, as it provides them with complete independence.
Norco Leg Lifter NC94301 by North Coastal Medical
The Norco Leg Lifter is manufactured by North Coastal Medical to assist individuals who have experienced hip replacement surgery and weakness and loss of strength in the lower half of their bodies. The Norco Leg Lifter is also ideal for individuals with hip arthritis and feeble hip flexors. The steel wire embedded into the surface material adopts the shape of the foot (or cast) and maintains this shape even when not in use. The left lifter is made of soft nylon webbing, which not only makes it a durable tool, but also ensures that it is kind to your hands when gripping. It is 24cm in length and is highly flexible to enable precise wrapping around the foot.
The rigid loop within the Norco Leg Lifter is amongst its excellent features and ensures a perfect fit around the foot, by adopting the foots shape. Like the loop, the strap also has a steel wire that goes through it, enabling the easy lifting of even the heaviest legs. It will allow you to effortlessly lift your leg into and out of the car, shower, bed or wheelchair. The thick webbing, that this leg lifter is made of, provides sufficient stiffness in the strap so that it doesn’t bend unnecessarily, making it difficult to handle. It can also be used as an exercise tool for physical therapy exercises, especially when doing heel slides. Basically, it gives the user the ability to do every day activities all by themselves, providing them with ultimate independence.
The downside of the Norco Leg Lifter is that it is not durable and will need to be replaced every few months because of the stiff wire that may cause a tear in the lifter. It also does not have a grippy part in the foot loop that ensures that the foot does not slide out.
Kinsman Triple Loop Quad Leg Lifter by Kinsman
The Kinsman Triple Loop Quad Leg Lifter gives you the option of three separate loops to hold onto, depending on your height and comfort zone. The leg loop is a pre-formed one that is embedded with a firm gauge wire that can be manipulated to perfectly fit around your foot. The surface material of the Kinsman Triple Loop Quad Leg Lifter is a nylon webbing that can ensure extensive usage and heavy duty actions, suggesting that it will last you for a long period. The leg loop wraps around the foot or cast and can be lifted wherever you want by gripping the hand loops and then lifting and repositioning. This is a 40” left lifter, making it amongst the longest of leg lifters. However, due to the three separate hand loops, it is also ideal for shorter individuals, as you are able to bend the wire within the leg lifter to whichever length you desire and is the most comfortable for you. The three loops also provide forearm assisted leg positioning.
The three separate hand loops on the Kinsman Triple Loop Quad Leg Lifter means that you will never run out of arm space when trying to lift your leg. Additionally, the loops give you a choice of shortening or lengthening the leg lifter according to the length of your arms and however you feel comfortable. The heavy-duty nylon webbing means that the leg lifter is durable and will last you a very long time. The foot loop is wide enough to fit bulky shoes, as well as casts. Unlike, the leg lifters with single loops, this leg lifter gives you a choice of three, ensuring that you have an easier, more comfortable experience when trying to lift your legs.
When using the Kinsman Triple Loop Quad Leg Lifter you must have full strength in your back and arms and must definitely have the ability to sit upright without bending, as it is a hefty leg lifter to use, so it is not recommended for individuals with progressive MS.