How To Know When You Need a Cane

There are countless reasons to get and use a walking cane. From simple fashion statements to their assistance with walking, the walking cane is a tool that every household, if not every person, could use. Not only are they useful once you get them, but they also double as a tool that can encourage health. That is why it is so important that you learn how to know when you need a cane, as they can help alleviate many of the factors that affect walking.

Signs and Causes

There are many ways to tell if you might benefit from a cane. These are problems that, once you experience them, will alert you to the possible need for a cane. If you experience these conditions as you walk or find that you fit inside these categories, you might want to invest in a cane. You can also speak to a doctor for a recommendation regarding whether a walking cane is right for your needs.

Joint Pain

It is not unusual to experience slight discomfort in your body when you are walking for extended amounts of time. This is usually because your muscles grow tired from the continuous exertion. The problem occurs when that discomfort grows to pain, specifically in your joints. This is often a sign of damage to your joints rather than simple workout pains.

Back Pain

A lot of the pressure that occurs when walking will come to rest on your back. That is why it is important that you keep an eye out for any pain that seems to occur in your back. Simply tiring out and needing to rest is not a cause for concern, but if the back pain interferes with walking, it is time to think about getting a cane. A cane can help remove that pressure from your back to prevent the repeated force from affecting you.


A common cause that will incite the need for a cane is an injury. No matter the reason for the injury, if it affects your back or legs, it can affect your walking. This is where a cane can come in handy. The cane can assist you with your walking until your body heals. It will give you more freedom to walk around and will let your body rest as you recuperate.


Another sign that you need a walking cane is if you tire quickly when walking. Walking is an exercise, so it makes sense that it may tire you out. However, if you feel that you become tired too quickly when walking, this could be an indication that walking is more difficult for you. There is nothing wrong with this; it simply means you might benefit from a walking cane.


Another common cause of needing a walking cane is age. The older you get, the more stress your body goes through. This means that damage can slowly accrue and impact your ability to walk. A walking cane is the perfect thing to help fight this, even before your age starts to influence your walking ability.


A general difficulty to balance is another sign that a walking stick might be in order. If maintaining your balance is difficult even on two legs, a walking can make it easier for you to find stability. By acting as a third leg, the walking cane can keep you upright and steady.

The Seven Questions

One of the best ways to know if you need a cane is to ask yourself a series of seven questions. If you answer these questions truthfully, you should be able to ascertain whether you need a walking cane. These questions are not a diagnosis; rather, they are meant to help you take stock of your situation.

  1. Is walking every day difficult without assistance? If the answer to this question is yes, it is a good idea to further look into the problem. Keep in mind that it is asking whether you consistently have trouble walking. Having one bad day does not provide enough information; you must look at your walking patterns as a whole.

  2. Do you feel pain in your limbs and joints as you walk? This question targets some of the common signs that you may need a walking cane. Joint pain and limb pain can both indicate the need for a walking stick. If you find that walking causes pain in your limbs and joints, it might be time to get a walking cane.

  3. Do you feel as though you might fall when walking unassisted? If the answer is, then you might need to get a walking cane to help with balance. Falling when walking can be dangerous, and a walking cane can help you prevent these falls.

  4. When you walk, do you often try to use other objects for support? This can include the use of chairs, railings, or other items that you might grab to help you remain upright. A walking cane is meant to perform this function at a moment’s notice. So, if you often find yourself seeking stability from other items, a walking cane may be a good tool for you.

  5. Do you avoid certain tasks or activities because they include walking, and do you worry that you might be unable to physically complete these tasks? This can be a difficult question to answer. However, if you find answering either of these questions in the affirmative, a cane may help you perform these tasks that you otherwise avoid.

  6. Is it difficult to walk up or down a flight of stairs? If the answer is yes, it is another sign that you might need a walking cane. Navigating a flight of stairs can be difficult on your joints and back, making it a good test of your walking needs. That is why you should be honest with your answers regarding this question.

  7. Does walking make you overly tired, and does it require excessive physical exertion to walk? This question is essentially asking whether you think you tire faster than you believe you should from walking. If you are getting tired from walking, it can be a sign that walking is becoming more difficult for you and that you might need a walking cane to help.

These questions and signs should tell you how to know when you need a cane. If you find that you do need a cane, do not worry. There are plenty of different options and styles of canes to fit your various needs and desires. There are ladies’ walking canes and gentlemen’s canes available, as well as a variety of materials and features. All you need to worry about is picking the right cane for you.

How To Know When You Need a Cane