A walking cane can be an extremely helpful tool if used properly. By determining a suitable size and kind of cane, you can make the most out of this aid and are able to get your mobility and independence back. Please consider the following suggestions of correctly using a cane in different movements like walking, climbing/descending stairs, and sitting down/ getting up from a chair:
A few simple tricks can help you to get the most out of your walking cane. When walking, the cane is usually held in the hand opposite to an injured or weaker leg (See Figure A)– for example, in case of a troublesome right leg, the cane may be grasped in the left hand and vice versa. The hand holding the cane should be kept close to the hip while the elbow should stay close to the body. The movement of the hand together with the cane is synchronized with the opposite leg, i.e., the cane goes forward with the opposite leg (See Figures B and C). If the cane is intended primarily to assist in balance and support, then the choice of the hand holding the cane is irrelevant. In such a case, the user can hold the cane in either hand depending on comfort while the cane movement is synchronized with the opposite leg as usual.
Stairs are tricky and special caution is advised. While climbing a flight of stairs, the leg next to the cane usually leads (See Figure D below), followed by the cane and the opposite leg up the step (See Figure E below). If a cane is used in descending stairs, the step down is usually made with the cane going down first (See Figure F below) and the opposite leg descending first (See Figure G below), followed by the other leg down the step (See Figure H below).
Tip: For the sake of your own safety, always keep the free hand on the railing when going up or down stairs.
If you are using a cane to assist in sitting, turn around and position yourself in such a way that the chair or sofa is behind you. Now place your free hand on the arm of the chair/sofa. Bend your upper body forward to slowly lower yourself into the chair (See Figure I below). When getting up form a chair or sofa, move your affected foot (i.e., the foot opposite to the cane) forward a few inches and push the chair/sofa by the free hand. While pushing the sofa/chair with your free hand, shift your weight to the good leg (i.e., the leg next to the cane) and use the cane to support yourself while rising.
*The tips provided above are general suggestions for use of a walking cane that may or may not apply in your particular instance. CanesAndWalkers.com is not a medical or healthcare professional, and the suggestions here are not and should not be considered as medical or health advice. You should consult your medical or healthcare professional to determine if a walking cane is appropriate for you and whether the foregoing suggestions would apply to your use. Your medical or healthcare professional should also size your cane prior to your purchase and use. Walking canes must be properly fitted for each individual and use. CanesAndWalkers.com is not responsible for, and disclaims all nature of liability or obligation whatsoever as to, sizing and use of our products. CanesAndWalkers.com is not responsible or obligated for injuries or damage resulting from the sizing or use of our products.