5 Things You Need to Know Before Using Your Walking Cane
Posted by ALEX TORRES
Wondering how to ensure your new cane is the best fit for you? We're here to help!
A walking cane can prove to be a helpful tool as long as it suits you and you are able to use it properly. Although it might seem to be the most convenient solution to borrow a cane from a friend, or even resort to using a cheap drugstore cane when you injure your foot or leg, it is not a good idea. Unfortunately, canes are not one-size-fits-all. Instead, you need to take steps to ensure that you have a cane that will serve your needs in order to ensure an optimal experience!
You should also ask yourself these questions to find out if you need to start using a cane.
1. Assess the Style and Comfort of the Cane
The first thing you need to do before using a walking cane is to make sure the cane meets your style and comfort expectations. A cane that seems clunky or requires you to grip it awkwardly is an indication it's not the right fit for you. Research the different types of grips and styles of canes before committing to any purchase for the best results. Grips are available in offset, palm grip, ergonomic, orthopedic and various other walking cane styles to meet your needs. It's also important to note that there's never any reason to sacrifice style for comfort. Here at Fashionable Canes, we offer fashionable and functional products to provide you with the best of both worlds!
2. Make Sure the Cane is Properly Sized
One of the most important things to know before using your walking cane is whether the cane is the correct size for you. You might wonder why it's important to have a cane that's the correct length. Not having a cane that's properly sized can cause you to be uncomfortable when walking and it can cause strain on areas such as your shoulder or back. To determine the correct length for your cane, measure the size of an existing cane from the lowest part on the top of the cane's handle to the bottom of the cane's rubber tip. If you don't have a cane, follow these steps with the help of a friend or family member:
- Put on the walking shoes you will wear when using the cane.
- Stand as you normally would and allow your arms to fall to your sides naturally.
- Have the friend or family member use a tape measure or yardstick to measure the distance from your wrist joint down to the floor. In the case of a measurement that is not an exact inch, round up to the nearest half-inch.
3. Invest in a Good Pair of Walking Shoes
The perfect companion to your walking cane is a pair of comfortable walking shoes. If your shoes or too tight or otherwise ill-fitting, it can cause your gait to suffer and throw off your balance. Plus, walking with your cane will not be an enjoyable experience. Choose a pair of sturdy-soled shoes with padded insoles that fit securely, yet comfortably, on your feet for best results. If you are in need of a comfortable pair of well-fitting shoes, there are stores that specialize in comfort-based shoes and people on-site who are knowledgeable in the assessment of feet to help you get the best possible fit you can.
4. Know How to Use Your Cane
Walking correctly with your cane is also critical to being comfortable. In addition, learning to walk correctly before using your cane will eliminate the possibility of experiencing undue strain on your muscles and joints.
When Using a Cane, Which Side Does it Go on?
The most important thing to know when using your cane is which side to place it on. Your cane should go on the opposite side of your body that has the pain or injury, known as your "weak" side. Place the cane on the opposite side to your weak side whenever walking, except when using stairs or handrails on that same side. Place the cane in your other hand, and use the handrail for added support.
Follow these steps to use your cane correctly:
- Hold the cane on the side of your body opposite of your injured foot or leg to help mimic your natural stride and shift your body weight to your uninjured side.
- Take the first step with your injured side while moving the cane forward on the uninjured side. Try to mimic a natural stride. Although it might be cumbersome at first, you'll adjust to walking with a cane in no time.
5. Follow Your Healthcare Provider's Instructions
If you happen to be in the care of a physical therapist due to an injury you have suffered, he or she may instruct you to do something different when walking than the instructions given here. If so, you should always refer to your therapist for the proper use of your fashionable walking cane. Once you've taken these factors into consideration, it's time to put all of your careful thought to good use. Click here to begin shopping and buy the perfect cane for you today!