How to Choose a Walking Cane
Posted by ALEX TORRES
When shopping for a walking cane, style and function are both important. You want a cane that looks great but does not cause your body to ache after use. To achieve this goal, you should consider your overall level of mobility before you buy a walking cane.
Canes are ideal for assisting with balance or aiding in walking after a serious injury or surgery. They work well for people who need a little extra support. An individual's level of health and mobility will help determine which type of cane is best.
Standard or Quad Tip Cane
Many people prefer the look and feel of a standard, single-tip cane. They can help to ease the pain of achy joints caused by arthritis or injury. With regular use, quality walking canes relieve pressure on muscles and joints, allowing the body to heal naturally.
For those who need additional aid with support and balance, quad canes are recommended. Stroke patients and those with neurological disorders will find the quad provides greater balance to reduce the risk of falling. Quads with an interchangeable base are a good idea for people whose condition is expected to improve gradually. As balance and strength are regained, the quad may then be switched to a single tip.
The type of tip a cane has is also important. Although most tips are slip-resistant, some promote better ease of walking. A tip with a pivoting head is one type that offers added traction and stability. The tip's ability to move forward and backward permits users to walk naturally and enjoy better balance control. Regardless of what type you select, always be sure to check and replace tips that are worn.
Get a Grip on It
Comfort is key when comparing different styles of canes for walking. Some users prefer an ergonomic gel or foam grip while others simply want a grip that adheres to their hand shape. Both the derby and the palm grip handle are popular options among nice walking canes.
Derby handles made of metal, wood, or leather are often found on many traditional and upscale canes. Though not as fancy, the palm grip handle is usually preferred by people suffering from arthritis since it is easier to grasp. In addition to basic designs, you can also find ornate handles while cane shopping.
Make Sure the Height is Correct
The majority of canes feature a small pin for height adjustments. After adjustment, the top of the cane should rest just below the hip, which will allow you to grasp the cane correctly while bending your elbow slightly. Having the elbow bent at the proper angle prevents strain on the shoulders, neck, and wrist.
The proper height is important for comfort, ease of movement, and safety. A cane that extends above the hip is difficult to operate and makes walking seem like a chore. One that is too short may affect a person's gait and balance, which can increase the risk of falls and defeats the purpose of having a cane.
Never purchase a cane based on price alone. Although it is possible to find a cheap walking cane that suits your needs, you don't want to sacrifice comfort and style. Many of the models sold by local drugstores lack the versatility and support necessary for daily use.
Find a Cane that Suits Your Style
For people that use a cane on a daily basis, many want a style that reflects their individuality and taste. Today, it is easy to find fashionable men's walking canes and women's canes that offer more than the typical tourist-handle design. From decorative laser designs to gold handles, shoppers can mix and match to create their own unique style.
As more people choose to work beyond retirement age, many are dealing with knee, back, or foot pain. Custom walking canes for men and women allow business professionals to remain mobile without distracting from their attire. Available in a variety of colors, materials, and shapes, it's not difficult to find a cane to complement any wardrobe. In fact, it is becoming more common to own several stylish canes to accommodate both casual and formal occasions.