Mastering the Art of Showering Safely with a Non-Weight Bearing Leg: A Step-by-Step Guide

Showering with a non-weight bearing leg can be a daunting task. It requires careful planning, the right equipment, and a methodical approach to ensure safety and hygiene. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of how to shower safely without putting weight on your injured leg.

Understanding Non-Weight Bearing

Non-weight bearing (NWB) means that no weight whatsoever can be placed on the injured leg. Following this directive is crucial for the healing process. It’s important to understand the specifics of your NWB status as advised by your healthcare provider.

Preparation: Before You Begin

Preparation is key to a successful and safe showering experience. Here’s what you need to do before getting started:

Gather Necessary Supplies

  • Waterproof leg cover
  • Chair or shower bench
  • Non-slip bath mat
  • Hand-held shower head (if available)
  • Soap and shampoo within reach
  • Towels

Setting Up Your Shower Space

  1. Place a non-slip bath mat inside the shower area to prevent slipping.
  2. Ensure that the chair or shower bench is stable and securely placed in the shower.
  3. Arrange all your bathing supplies within easy reach.
  4. If possible, install a hand-held shower head to control the water flow easily.

Step-by-Step Guide to Showering Safely

Now that you have prepared your shower space, follow these steps to shower safely:

Step 1: Entering the Shower

Use crutches or a walker to approach the shower. Sit on the shower bench or chair positioned outside the shower and then carefully move it inside, ensuring your injured leg remains elevated and dry.

Step 2: Protecting Your Injured Leg

Before getting the rest of your body wet, make sure your non-weight bearing leg is securely covered with a waterproof leg cover to keep it dry.

Step 3: Bathing

Using a hand-held shower head, wet your body, apply soap, and rinse. If you don’t have a hand-held shower head, lean forward carefully to wash and rinse your body using a sponge or washcloth.

Step 4: Drying Off

Once you have finished showering, carefully dry off while seated. Make sure to dry your waterproof leg cover before removing it to prevent water from dripping onto your injury.

Step 5: Exiting the Shower

Ensure you are completely dry and dressed before attempting to stand up with the support of crutches or a walker. Move the chair or bench outside the shower area first if that’s where you will be dressing.

Tips for a Safe Showering Experience

  • Always have someone nearby when you shower in case you need assistance.
  • Invest in quality non-slip mats and a sturdy shower chair or bench.
  • Take your time and do not rush the process to avoid accidents.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and recommendations.

Equipment and Modification Recommendations

Here are some additional recommendations for equipment and modifications to make showering safer and more accessible:

Equipment/Modification Description
Grab Bars Installed in the shower area to provide stability and support when entering or exiting.
Adjustable Shower Bench A bench that can be adjusted to the height that suits you best for a comfortable showering experience.
Long-Handled Bath Brush Helps in reaching areas of the body that are difficult to reach without straining.
Non-Slip Bath Mat Provides additional traction underfoot to prevent slips and falls.


Showering with a non-weight bearing leg requires patience, preparation, and the right equipment. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure a safe and comfortable showering experience. Remember, your safety is paramount, so take all necessary precautions and consult with healthcare professionals as needed.