With so many choices in materials, handle style, colors, and patterns, there's no reason to feel reluctant or embarrassed about using a cane. In fact, there are several signs you might need to start using a walking cane that must not be ignored; you could be risking a fall, experiencing pain unnecessarily, or slowing your recovery from an injury. Here are some indicators that you might need a walking cane.
You've Already Experienced a Fall
Falling down isn't normal for adults-it's a sign that something is wrong. You might be tripping over things more frequently, or you may be experiencing unusual muscle weakness. You're lucky if you didn't get injured, but you may not be so lucky next time. Falling is increasingly dangerous as we age since our bones become more vulnerable to damage. Whatever caused the fall, it's time to talk to a medical professional about whether you'd benefit from using a cane.
You're Always Reaching for Support
If you feel unsteady when you walk, or you're always looking for the next piece of furniture to grab on to for support, you may need a cane. Walking doesn't have to be a struggle. A walking cane can help with stability and balance. If you're not sure how using one would feel, you can try a basic adjustable walking cane to see what length works best for you.
If you're experiencing joint pain every time you take a step, you may need a cane's additional support. Your pain might also come because you are unknowingly compensating for weakness on one side or another, or you've adopted an odd posture to feel more stable.
You Avoid Certain Activities Because You're Afraid of Falling
Self-imposed limitations on your activity create what may be unnecessary boundaries in your life. A walking cane might give you the support and confidence you need to resume your daily walk around the neighborhood or get up and down stairs more easily.
You Find Yourself Losing Your Balance Frequently
Even if you haven't fallen, you may have come close. If you find yourself teetering even in shoes that have been comfortable and stable in the past, this suggests that you might need a cane. The stability a cane or walking stick provides can help you cope with that unsteady feeling.
You're Recovering from an Injury
"Oh, it's just a sprain". Do you know for sure? If you've injured yourself, suddenly developed a limp, or find yourself dragging a foot, don't just tough it out. Get it checked out and ask if using a cane could help in recovery.
Finally, remember that the need to use a cane doesn't arise just because you've reached a milestone birthday. Your physical need, not your age, is what determines whether you should start using a cane. Pay attention to signs you may need to start using a walking cane and get expert advice about when to start, what kind of cane to use, and how to use it.