At a glance, this title can seem quite confusing. We all know how to use a cane. But do we?
While it may seem as though using a cane is easy, it’s because most people are doing it wrong. For your cane to help support you, you need to know how to use it.
How to use a cane?
1) Adjust the cane to the proper height.
2) Choose the hand opposite to the weakest leg.
3) Keep your back straight while walking.
4) On stairs, go up with the good leg, down with the bad.
5) Take care of your cane and replace the tip if it’s worn out.
Continue reading to learn more about how to use your cane:
1) Adjusting the Cane
One of the first things that you need to do is to make sure that the handle has been adjusted to your height.
This means that the handle should be exactly level with your wrist.
Now, place your hand on the handle. Your elbow should slightly be angled forward but not by too much. This is how you know that you have set the proper height for a cane.
2) Choosing the Hand to Hold Your Cane
For most tasks, you use your dominant hand to complete them. This is because it is a natural tendency and it makes handling the task a lot easier.
With canes, however, it is a little different. Here, it is more about how to use it with your legs.
The first thing you are going to need to consider is the leg which is the weakest. This can be due to several reasons, including injury. You may also be recovering from surgery.
What you need to do now is to hold the stick in the hand that is opposite to the weakest leg.
This way, you are giving your weaker limb an adequate amount of support as you walk with the device.
3) How to Walk With a Cane
One important thing to note is that when you walk, the tendency may be to look down.
However, you should keep correcting your gaze to right in front of you.
This will help you to maneuver better.
Clutching the stick on your good side, you should take a step with your ‘bad’ leg.
At the exact same moment, you will need to swing your stick forward as well. It is important to make sure that you swing it as far as the step that you have just taken.
Place your weight on the device so that you are removing pressure from your leg.
Then, using your strong leg, step past the stick. You should continue in this fashion for the duration of your journey.
When you are turning, it is important to use your strong leg to turn instead of your weak leg. This is your best strategy on how to walk with a cane.
4) Climbing with a Cane
Hold onto the rail for support if there is one. Place the cane in your opposite hand.
When stepping up, put your strong leg on the next step first. Then, follow with the cane and your weaker leg.
When going down, place the cane on the step below you. Then, place your weaker leg there while placing your weight on the cane. Once this is done, you can bring your stronger leg down.
If there is no handrail, follow the same procedure, but keep your cane on the side you normally use.
Just take it easy – go up with the good leg, down with the bad, one step at a time.
5) How to Maintain Safety While Using Your Cane
One of the things that you should do is to get yourself a device that can support you well.
Ask your doctor to recommend one that will suit all of your requirements.
It is vital that you choose one that is of the highest quality to ensure your safety.
You should take care of your device well and keep an eye on its overall structure.
If there is any part of it that is peeling, flaking, or broken, you should get it replaced immediately. And remember to replace the rubber tip before it’s too worn out. You should never use a cane that has been compromised in any way.
The Bottom Line
With these tips, you know how to use a cane when you are walking, turning, or taking the stairs. You will be able to move more easily and safely this way.
Here you can find tips on which is the best walking cane for you.