Learn how to walk with a cane or crutches

Publication date: 06.11.2018.

It seems that it is not hard to walk with a cane and that everyone knows how to, however, this movement technique is something you need to learn or someone needs to show you. Also, to properly use a cane or crutches, it is very important to know how to set the correct height and how to choose right orthopedic aid for you. In such a situation are not only the elderly, but anyone may happen to be recovering after injury, fracture, surgery or simply needed help with mobility. So take a few minutes to read this article, because it may be beneficial for you once.

Important parts of a cane:

The shaft is the central, longest part of the cane and it carries your entire weight. It can be made of different materials; wood, metal, carbon fibers and the like. There are modern canes that are collapsible, so they are very practical for easy portability.

Ferulle is certainly one of the most important parts when choosing a cane. You might have noticed by now that canes and crutches usually have a rubber cap (bottom) at the end of the shaft. It's anti-slipping, and do not choose a cane without it. Some canes have a multi-leg stand,which provides greater stability and better adhesion to various types of surfaces, even on slippery, wet floors.

Grip can be curved, flat, anatomical, just one grip, two grips... It is important that the grip fits your palm, to feels solid, that it is not too big or slippery. Of course, if you choose a cane or a crutch with two handles it will be easier to get up from the sitting position.

Check the length:

To select the proper length for a cane, stand up straight with your shoes on and arms at your sides. The top of the cane should reach the crease on the underside of your wrist. Cane length is usually about one half the cane user's height, in inches, wearing shoes.

If your cane is too small, you'll need to bend over in order to reach it. If your cane is too big, you'll need to lean over onto your injured side in order to use it. Neither option is ideal. A perfectly fitted cane will keep you upright while providing support. There are modern canes with adjustable hieght/length.

Holding:

Hold the cane in the hand on your “good” side so that it provides support to the opposite lower limb. If you are using the cane for general mobility rather than an injury, hold the cane using your dominant hand and bear weight on this side of your body.

Walking:

Take a step with the “bad” leg and bring the cane forward at the same time. Move the cane and affected leg forward together. Lean your weight through the arm holding the cane as needed. Always have the bad leg assume the first full weight-bearing step on level surfaces. As you become accustomed to the cane, it will ideally feel like a natural extension of yourself.

Stairs:

To properly ascend stairs, it is “up with the good.” While holding onto the rail with one hand, advance the stronger leg first placing it on the step above where you are standing. After this good leg is appropriately placed on the step, advance the weaker leg up to the same step that the stronger leg is on. If there is no rail to hold on to, the cane is placed on the upper step at the same time or after placement of the weaker leg.
To properly descend stairs, it is “down with the bad.” While holding onto the rail with one hand, advance the weaker leg first placing it on the step below where you are standing. After this affected leg is appropriately placed on the step, advance the stronger leg down to the same step that the weaker leg is on. If there is no rail to hold on to, the cane is placed on the lower step at the same time or after placement of the stronger leg.

We recommed you to choose Clever Cane, which has that name for a reason, and why is called "clever" you can see in our section Health & Care / Clever cane.

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