The proper use of the cane is very important especially for those who are suffering from injury, stroke, and arthritis. By using a cane, patients can practice walking again, along with the guidance of their physical therapist.
People usually use canes to assess balance and widen base support. Those who have difficulty with functional mobility may benefit from using a cane to balance their body while walking. They aid the elderly and those who have problems with balance. Those with injuries can benefit from canes as well. For example, using canes helps decrease the weight bearing in an injured leg, giving this area the opportunity to heal.
Physical therapists can help people choose the right cane, according to the needs of each individual. Moreover, physical therapists can give guidance on how to use each type of cane properly, too.
A Guide on the Proper Use of Cane
- Always choose the right cane for you, based on what you truly need.
- Ensure the integrity of your cane by checking each part of the cane.
- Hold the cane with an unaffected hand.
- Use the hand and arm opposite to the affected leg.
- Lean your weight through the arm while holding the cane.
- Always have the unaffected lower limb assume the first full weight when stepping.
- When walking up upstairs with a cane, keep the cane stationary as climb each step
- While standing with a cane, stand straight while holding the cane handle. Slightly bend the elbow while holding the cane.
- Move your affected leg and bring your cane forward simultaneously. This may help ensure that each side of your body shares the load.
- Use caution while maneuvering the cane. Check if the surface is safe enough. Rugs and mat on the floor can obstruct your path and can be dangerous to you while using your cane.
Things to Avoid
- Using an inappropriate type of cane. The cane might be too high or might too low for your height.
- Holding the cane with the wrong hand. This leads to a bad distribution of weight and can cause you further injury.
- Placing the cane far from your body. Doing this makes you lean further than you have to. This may cause you to lose your balance and trip.
Things to Consider
1. Choose the Right Cane
Peopple should choose the right cane. If the cane is not suitable to the condition of a person, it poses as a danger rather than support. People should also carefully follow the instructions of their doctor or physical therapist.
2. Weight of the cane
Cane are made from different materials such as plastic, wood, and metal. Each of this material differs in weight, considering this is very important and should be tailored according to individual needs.
3. Understand why a cane is needed
First of all, you need to understand why you need a cane. You must also have a full understanding of your conditions. This helps you choose the right kind of cane, including how to use it properly.
Conditions That May Require the Use of a Cane
- Knee injury
- Low extremity fracture
- After stroke
- Old age
Walking with a cane can be challenging and at the same time frustrating. This is why learning the proper use of cane can be a great help.
Always remember that when you use a cane, you need to preserve the normal motion of your body because it helps in keeping the balance of the body and allows you to move efficiently.