When do we need a cane? This question might arise as we go through life and our bodies signal how mobile and stable we are.
Recognizing the right time to start using a mobility device like a walking cane can be key to maintaining independence and safety.
In this article, we’ll reveal five unmistakable signs that will help you pinpoint when it’s time to consider a cane.
When Is It Time for a Cane?
If you notice the following symptoms, you likely need to use a walking cane:
1) You Are Dragging a Foot
This could be due to numbness in your foot or some other problem that may not be immediately noticeable. However, if you are noticing that you have begun dragging one of your feet rather than lifting it to walk, you should probably begin using a cane.
If you continue to walk this way, it is going to result in muscle imbalance. This means that the muscles in the foot that you are dragging may incur wastage due to disuse.
2) You Are Limping
If you are someone who keeps to a busy schedule, it is quite likely that you do not even notice when you start limping. It may start off with just a slight limp but may soon become quite pronounced. When you observe this limp, it is important to see a doctor and begin using a cane.
Much like with dragging your foot, limping can cause you to put all your pressure on one foot and completely stop using the injured one. This can result in damage to both feet if it is not tended to quickly.
3) You Are Using Furniture to Walk
This tends to happen to individuals when they are in their homes. They use chairs, shelves, walls, and other support systems to keep them upright and help them walk. When you are in your own home, this is quite easy to do.
This is because you are familiar with just how everything is placed and situated. When you go outside, however, this can be quite dangerous. As you may be unable to support yourself, you may fall over and injure yourself.
4) You Are Losing Your Balance or Are Tripping Over Things Frequently
If you feel like you cannot keep your balance while you are walking, it is important to go see a doctor as quickly as possible.
This may sometimes be due to an inner ear problem or some other medical condition. In certain instances, it can be due to the muscles in your limbs.
If it is more of a limb-related problem or issues with coordination, it is more than likely that your doctor will prescribe a cane.
This is so that you will find it easier to get your balance. This will especially be useful if you tend to trip over objects on the floor. The cane will help improve your stability.
5) Your Back Hurts or You Are Hunched Over When You Walk
These two are typically linked. In most cases, the reason that your back is hurting is
If you continue with this position, it will result in muscle strain and pain. In these instances, it is a good idea to use a cane.
Does a cane help with back pain? Read more about the benefits of using a walking cane if you suffer from back pain.
With your hand on the cane, you will be able to maneuver yourself back into a better position. Also, you will be giving yourself more support as you walk.
The Bottom Line
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should speak with a doctor. If they recommend that you use a walking cane, you certainly should alleviate any further problems (however, note that you do not need a prescription to buy a cane).
Here you can find info about where to purchase walking canes.