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Finding and Using a Cane

Persons who need slight, moderate, or significant walking aid can use a cane to evenly distribute their weight when walking. Choosing the right cane is essential, and there are a few steps you can take to find the cane that fits your needs.

First, ask yourself how much support you need. If you need only a little, you can use any cane that is designed to support your weight. Keep in mind that some canes are better suited for decoration and fashion, and should not be used by support-dependent users.

If you need moderate or heavy support, uniform crook handle canes are your best bet. These canes provide reliable support for persons up to 250 pounds because the handle and the shaft are a whole unit and not two separate pieces, adding extra support that most derby handle or fritz handle canes cannot provide. Most Natural Wood Canes can provide comparable support to crook canes, and even more support if they are natural wood crook canes!

If you're in need of significant weight support, Restored Living highly recommends you use a Bariatric Cane. These canes are designed to support up to 500 lbs and feature wider handles to ensure a secure grip. Bariatric Canes begin at 44" in length, with some adjustable options for taller individuals.

Correctly Sizing a Cane

Proper use of a cane begins with making sure the cane is the proper length. You can measure the proper length of your cane by standing up straight and keeping your arms at your side. Then follow the following instructions below:

  • Remove the rubber tip from the bottom of the cane using a twisting motion
  • Turn the cane upside down
  • On the opposite the injury/weaker, place the cane against your hip.
  • With a slight bend in your elbow (about 15°), mark the cane where it meets your wrist bone.
  • Cut cane with any fine toothed hacksaw at the marked point and replace the tip.
  • This height should give you a slight bend to your elbow when the cane is placed at your side.

Proper Cane Use

Once you have found and properly sized your cane, it's time to learn how to properly use it!

The first step in proper cane usage is making sure that you're using your cane in the proper hand. This is especially important if you have an injury on one leg that prevents you from applying force on it. If you have a weaker leg/foot, it is highly recommended that you use the hand OPPOSITE of your wounded leg to hold your cane. This way, you can focus your weight on one side of your body, while you easily maneuver the weaker side when walking.

Now for how to properly walk with a cane: When stepping forward with your wounded/bad leg, make sure to lean most of your weight on the cane. This takes off significant pressure from the leg, and allows the good leg to easily swing forward. Do not use your cane to support your good leg, as this is counterproductive and can cause an injury.

When walking up stairs, make sure to hold on to the handrail with the arm closest to it, with your cane in the other. Take the first step with your good leg, then use your cane to help bring your injured leg to the same step. If you're going down a flight of stairs, do the same as going upstairs, except you want to take a step with your weaker leg and cane at the same time, then lower your strong leg to the same step.

Time to Buy a Cane!

Now that you have the knowledge to use a cane, make sure you make the best out of yours and begin walking today!!! For exceptionally high quality canes, check out our grand selection of Harvy Canes!!!