How to walk safely with a cane


If you have trouble walking and functional mobility issues, it may be helpful to use a cane while walking. Your physical therapist can help you prepare a suitable jar and teach you how to use it correctly. By using a cane, you can maintain safety and efficiency while walking and moving.

Canes are used to help balance, expand your base of support, and / or relieve stress on your dysfunctional knee, hip, or leg .

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There are certain conditions under which the use of a cane may be recommended. These include :

Any condition that interferes with safe functional mobility could mean that you should consider using a cane.

A standard cane is usually suitable for people with mild sensory problems, problems with coordination or balance. People with moderate to severe problems may need other devices, such as crutches , walkers , or a wheelchair .

Sometimes the reed is used constantly; in other cases, the use of a cane may be temporary until there is sufficient healing or until strength and balance are restored through rehabilitation.

Choosing the right cane

If you have severe mobility issues, it is recommended that you meet with a podiatrist and / or physical therapist to determine the appropriate device for your condition.

In some cases, a one-legged cane may be all you need. For those with more mobility / problems or who are at a higher risk of injury from a fall, a four-legged cane may be more suitable.

If the cane is considered adequate, you will need to adjust it to the correct height so that your body is in a neutral position when you grip the handle. If it is too high or too low, your body will lean, which will not only cause discomfort and fatigue, but also increase the risk of falls.

To keep the cane at the correct height, lower your arm downward, straightening your elbow. The crease of the wrist should be level with the top of the cane. If not, adjust the pole up or down until it works.

While holding the cane, your elbow should be bent at a 20 to 30 degree angle, and you should not feel pain or discomfort in your shoulder or arm .

How to use a cane

Using a cane is a bit more difficult than some people thought. Unlike using a trekking pole, using a mobility pole requires coordination to relieve maximum pressure from the affected limb and / or to ensure that it can recover if it is unstable or suddenly begins to lose balance.

To walk correctly with a cane :

  1. Hold the cane to the side of your body like your good (stronger) leg.
  2. Place the cane slightly to the side and a few inches forward.
  3. Move the cane forward at the same time as the affected person. leg (weaker).
  4. Place your cane firmly on the ground before stepping forward with a stronger leg.
  5. Repeat.

It is important that you take your time when you are just starting out. Haste only leads to loss of coordination or mistakes.

Avoid large strides, as this can cause your body to lean forward on the weaker leg and compensate for bending the stronger leg back. Reciprocating movement (along with a wide stance) can cause loss of balance and fall .

Ladder navigation

The ladder can be a special challenge if you are new to using a cane. It's clear that stairs are easier to navigate if there are handrails, but not all stairs have them. The right technique and patients will help you get up and down stairs in any situation.

When climbing stairs with a cane:

  1. Start with a cane and both legs in one step.
  2. Holding the cane firmly for balance, lift your strong leg to the next step.
  3. When your foot is firmly seated, follow the weaker leg. Bring your weak leg in step with your strong leg.
  4. When both feet are firmly on your feet, raise the cane back to your side.
  5. Repeat until you reach the top of the stairs.

When descending with a cane:

  1. Start with a cane and both legs in one step.
  2. While holding the cane firmly for balance, lower your weaker leg to the next step.
  3. Lower your strong leg at the same pace as your weaker leg.
  4. When both feet are firmly in place, return the cane to its side.
  5. Repeat until you reach the bottom of the stairs.

Mistakes to avoid

There are several common mistakes people make when walking with a cane. If you are new to using a cane, take a few minutes to understand the dos and don'ts of using a cane.

Not to do

  • Don't use a cane that is too high or too low.

  • Don't hold the cane in the wrong hand

  • When walking, do not place the cane too far from your body.

  • Do not hurry.


  • Adjust the cane so that your elbow remains bent at a 20 to 30 degree angle.

  • Take the cane with the hand opposite the affected leg.

  • Bring the cane closer to you and take smaller steps.

  • Take your time not to cross the threshold and stumble.

Get the word of drug information

Learning to use the cane correctly is essential to maintain balance when walking and avoid falls. It can also speed your healing if you are recovering from injury or surgery.

If you find that a cane is not sufficient for maximum safety, balance, and coordination, feel free to ask for a walker or crutches until you are better at using a single cane.

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