Using a quad cane while walking


What is a quad cane and how can your physical therapist help you use a quad cane when walking?

The square cane is a mobile device that helps with walking and mobility. It looks like a standard cane, but it has a metal base at the bottom with four small legs extending from the base. These feet have rubber caps to reduce slippage on the floor. Square poles are usually made of lightweight aluminum and can be adjusted with a small button.

Alto / Michele Constantini / Getty Images

Who is the quad cane for?

Sometimes after illness or injury, one or both legs can become weak. This weakness can prevent you from walking normally. Long periods of immobilization or bed rest can change your balance. The square cane helps provide additional support, allowing you to walk independently and safely.

The advantage of a quad cane is that it provides good stability. Square canes can also be used on stairs, unlike standard or wheeled walkers. In a seated position, the quad cane can be placed side by side and not fall. When getting up from a sitting position, do not use a cane to get up from the chair, as you could tip over. Get up first and then grab the handle.


One of the downsides to a quad cane is that it requires you to walk a little slower. This can be helpful if your gait and balance are disturbed after an injury or illness. But if you want to get somewhere fast, the ATV is likely to slow you down. A quad cane can also pose a tripping hazard. With its large base, you can accidentally hit the bottom of your quad, causing you to lose your balance and fall.


There are basically two types of square bars: wide and narrow square bars. Wide Base Rods (WBQC) have a larger base to which four legs are attached. This helps provide more support and stability when walking. A cane with a wide base is heavier and can be more difficult to maneuver. Narrow Bottom Shank (NBQC) has a narrower base to which the legs are attached. While this provides less support than a wide-based cane, it is easier to lift and maneuver while walking.

Quad cane selection

When choosing a quad reed, it is important to work with your healthcare provider and physical therapist to decide which narrow or wide base is best for you. In general, your strength and balance limitations will determine what is best for you. If there is significant weakness or balance limitations, a rod with a wide base is best suited. If your weakness and balance limitations are small, a narrow base rod may be your best option.

If you are currently walking with a standard or wheeled walker, a quad cane change may be warranted. Be sure to check with your doctor and physical therapist to see if a quad cane is right for you. Your physical therapist can also teach you to walk with a quad cane. In general, you should advance the quad cane with the opposite foot. Once the cane and your foot are on the ground, you can push your other leg forward.

Dimensions (edit)

Before you start walking with a quad cane, make sure it is the right size for you. Most of them are regulated . Just press the small button on the staff to adjust.

To make sure the size is correct, stand next to the cane with your hand at the side. If you find it difficult to get up, make sure someone is nearby to help you. The handle at the top of the cane should be on your wrist. When you grip the handle, your elbow should be slightly bent.

Quad ride

To walk with a quad cane, follow these simple steps.

  1. Hold the cane with one hand. If one leg is weak, hold the cane with the hand opposite the weak leg.
  2. Move the quad cane forward with one hand. Make sure all four legs of the quad cane touch the ground to prevent it from tipping over.
  3. Take a step forward with your weak leg.
  4. Press lightly on the handle of the cane to maintain stability. Move your second leg a little more towards the first foot.
  5. Repeat this cycle.

Make sure your physical training helps you fine-tune the ATV and avoid common mistakes some people make when walking with a pole.

When to stop using the quad cane

As your strength and balance improve, you may find it easier to walk. When this happens, it may be time to use a standard cane that provides less support or does not provide any devices. Be sure to speak with your doctor and physical therapist to ensure that you can safely stop using the quad. Sometimes strength and balance limitations are permanent and therefore quad biking can also be permanent.

Get the word of drug information

If you are injured or ill, you may develop weakness or balance problems that prevent you from walking. An ATV pole can be a great accessory for safe and independent walking.

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