In this post, I will share with you some tips on how to properly walk with a cane.
If you struggle while walking or having functional mobility issues, you can benefit from a cane that will assist you in walking. Physical therapists can help and teach you how to walk with a cane properly, but it is better to do some homework independently. When you know how to use a cane for walking properly, you can maintain safety and efficiency while moving around.
Canes assist you while walking and keep you balanced. It also helps widen your support base or reduce weight-bearing through one of your legs or when you have injured your lower extremity. In order to achieve all these benefits, one must know how to properly walk with a cane.
But don’t worry, this will show you how to do so:
You may have to use a cane in the following conditions:
- After stroke
- After any leg surgery
- After extremity fracture
- If you have limited balance, that doesn’t allow you to walk safely.
Any of these conditions or other conditions that prevent you from proper and safe mobility means you should think about using a cane while walking. Sometimes, you will have to use the cane permanently, while in some cases, it is for a temporary period until your strength and balance get to improve, and you can move safely.
Proper Cane Usage
Here is how to appropriately use a cane when walking on level surfaces. Ensure that you are using the doctor’s recommended cane and, if necessary, let them know before using the cane.
Before starting, adjust your cane as per your height, as it is vital to achieving the right balance. You may also consult your physical therapist in this regard. The simplest way to adjust it is to stand straight with your cane and place it next to your leg. Now, hang your arm down and keep your elbow straight. Keep your wrist at the level of the top of the cane. Now you can adjust your cane as per your height. When holding your cane, bent your elbow about 20 degrees and ensure that there is no pain in your arm or shoulders.
After adjusting the height of your cane, let’s start walking with a cane.
How To Properly Walk With A Cane
- Grip the cane in hand and keep it on your unaffected side so that it can offer necessary support to your lower limb.
- Advance the cane gradually with the leg opposite the injured one.
- Now, lean your body weight through the arm and hold it as needed.
- Always put your body weight on the unaffected first when walking on level surfaces. Then put the weight on the affected one.
- When walking upon the stairs using a cane, keep it straight and in a stationary position as you step up and use your strong leg.
- Then, utilize that strong leg to lift yourself onto the stairs and bring the cane and your other leg with it.
- When walking down the stairs using the cane, first lower your affected leg along with your cane and use your strong leg to lower you down gradually.
- When your cane and foot are down correctly, you can place some bodyweight on the cane and put your other leg down.
Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Using a Cane
When learning to walk with a cane, you should avoid some common mistakes that many people often make. These mistakes are:
- Don’t use a cane that is too low or high then your height.
- Holding your cane with the wrong hand or in the wrong hand.
- Don’t place your cane too far away from yourself.
If you find it difficult to maintain your balance while walking with a cane, you should think about using an assistive device when moving. You can also use a quad cane that comes with a wide base of support. Still, if you find it difficult, try to get a standard or wheeled walker for walking.
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