Learn how to properly use a cane to stand up and walk, sit down onto a chair and go up and down stairs. Step forward with your injured or weaker leg first, putting weight onto the cane. Use your good leg to step up and then bring the bad leg to meet it. Canes are made from wood, plastic, or metal. “’Up with the good, down with the bad’ makes this easy to remember,” says Ramage. 2. You are bending down over a maladjusted walker. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. This article was very helpful in resolving my questions! ", other side and just wanted to know what is for the best for me. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Most people do well with a cane that has a single tip. At the exact same moment, you will need to swing your cane forward as well. Holding the cane with the wrong hand. Look up to see where you are going, not always down at the floor. Use caution while maneuvering the cane. Cane length is usually about one half the cane user's height, in inches, wearing shoes. If you’re going down stairs, use the same process, but take the first step with your injured leg instead. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/5\/51\/Hold-and-Use-a-Cane-Correctly-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/v4-460px-Hold-and-Use-a-Cane-Correctly-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/5\/51\/Hold-and-Use-a-Cane-Correctly-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/aid45019-v4-728px-Hold-and-Use-a-Cane-Correctly-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Cleveland Clinic offers expert diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for bone, joint or connective tissue disorders and rheumatic and immunologic diseases. I was using it on the wrong side. ", provided, and am looking forward to practicing first around the house. I appreciate the information you, "I have vertigo as well as problems with my right knee. Spread your weight evenly between your feet and your cane. Always hold the cane in the hand opposite the weaker side The cane moves forward together with the weaker leg. Grip. Avoid pressing it exactly on or against the sciatic nerve. Assuming this questions is about using a cane for punishing your husband… Caning is a skilled art and using a cane requires lots of practice and acquired skill. "I have been holding my cane on the wrong side. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. If you’re walking up stairs, hold the banister with one hand and your cane in the other. There are other methods of achieving this star pattern: Europeans, for example, use a 'steamer' method which entails weaving both horizontal strands of cane simultaneously. As your strength and balance improve, you may notice that walking is easier. Not sure how to, "Initially I was using my cane in the wrong hand but have now corrected it. If right knee occasionally goes out should I still use cane on left side? If you are using a quad cane, grab the chair arm with both hands and then ease down into the chair slowly. How do I use a cane with an injured foot? The following are common kinds of canes: Standard canes have a rounded crook handle. The adjustments helped me immensely on, "Glad to know how to use the cane correctly, because I had been using it wrong. You may even be able to find a customizable cane that matches your personality as much as it supports your frame. The cane may provide you a fraction of a second or a little distance to keep you from getting tied up in a close-range encounter, enabling you to shift position, draw, and connect with a shot. Instructions based on type of cane are: Push down on the cane. When using a standard cane, grab the armrest with one hand, while holding the cane in the other one, then sit down. The bottom of the cane usually has a nonskid rubber tip to prevent it from slipping. Be sure to speak with your doctor and physical therapist to be sure that you are safe to stop using the quad cane. Always take your cane or crutches with you. A trolley is an effective way to carry items around the house, and give you support. To go up the stairs is almost as easy as it is to go down the stairs. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195 |. Back up until you feel the chair against your legs. ", steps. It is important to make sure that you swing the cane as far as the step that you have just taken. If I have one leg shorter than the other, which side do I hold the cane on (short leg or long leg side)? Follow these steps when you walk with a cane: Stand with a firm grip on your cane. Correct Use of Your Cane on Stairs . Shaft. If you use a large quad cane, you may need to turn it sideways so it fits on the step. When humans walk, we stride with our feet and swing our hands at the same time. ", "I needed a refresher on how to use my cane. ", occasionally a cane. Some canes are meant to be held with your palm and fingers, while others can also provide support for your forearm. "I am going to have knee replacements soon, and this has given me a guide as to what I need to do between, "My question was concerning which side to hold a cane. When using a cane, you want the same technique so you don't risk injuring something else while you are recovering. This article has been viewed 1,010,414 times. Move the cane forward a short distance. It must be remembered that, even if the culprit is a friend, a caning will not be of any use unless it hurts and hurts a lot. The tip... Take some of the pressure off your weaker leg by placing pressure on the cane. This will help you keep your balance. Discuss your options with a doctor, so you know which type of support will be best. It is recommended that you pick up a pair of shoes with lifts built in. How to Walk with a Cane Correctly - Ask Doctor Jo - YouTube The shaft is the long part of the cane, and can be composed of wood, metal, carbon fiber polymer and other materials. ", "Helped a lot. Thank you! Talk to your doctor if you think there will be an issue with holding it in your opposite hand. "I was having my first gout attack but was unsure how to use a cane. ", the walking stick to go and up down the stairs was very informative and helped greatly. Use this as a rule of thumb. Hold the cane in the hand opposite the side that needs support. Using a cane should be simple but you must be careful especially if you just got out of the surgery. Thank you for the article and illustrations. Could have used one more step: going down stairs with cane, though maybe that is considered obvious. Then, use that strong leg to lift up onto the step and bring the cane and your affected leg with it. This article was very helpful in teaching me to learn to use the cane. Thank you so much for the article. I needed reminding on how to use the cane properly. The purpose of using a cane is to take weight and pressure off your weak side. There are various kinds of canes. You don't necessarily have to, but it is highly recommended by many professionals. For tips on how to tell if you should use a crutch instead of a cane, keep reading! The rubber stoppers on the bottoms of canes and crutches will need to be replaced periodically. Use a cane with a wooden or plastic handle instead of metal. ", "People are not concerned about the proper way to use a cane until it hit's them where it hurts. This article received 62 testimonials and 95% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Put on the shoes you’ll be wearing when you use a cane. Make it higher. It won't be anything extreme, as in you looking lopsided or something. If you're using a cane for better balance, consider putting it in your non-dominant hand so that you can continue to use your dominant hand for everyday tasks. To hold and use a cane correctly, hold it in your hand on the side of your good leg, because this hand will naturally swing forward when your opposite leg takes a step. When you walk with a cane, it holds most of your body weight and reduces pressure from your lower back and legs. It might feel a little awkward at first, but with practice, you should find this to be a useful walking aid. Place your cane down one step. If you are in an upright position, the top of a cane is supposed to be at the pleat of your wrist and the elbow slightly bending as you hold your cane. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Thank you so much for the article, after 3 months of trying to use this cane I now know where I was going wrong. In all cases – long-term rehabilitation or short-term recovery due to pain, intervention or surgery – you will eventually face the stairs. The article was very clear with the answer & the photos. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Place your weight on the cane so that you are removing pressure from your leg. Policy, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. To create this article, 39 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. The cane might be too high or might too low for your height. You need to know which one is your "bad leg" and which is your "dominant or … Bring the cane up. How to go up the stairs with a cane after hip surgery. My experience tells me it's just about reducing the load on the injured side, I was able to do it on the 'wrong' side. Adjust Height of Quad Cane. Once your cane and foot are firmly down on the step, place some weight on the cane and lower your other leg down. Using an inappropriate type of cane. Do I have to hold the cane on the opposite side of the injured leg? Buy an adjustable cane if you won't need it long; you can then give it to the next person who needs one. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. As you probably have one leg that is better than the other, stairs may be the better choice. When possible, sit in chairs that have armrests. Assess how much help you need. This article has been viewed 1,010,414 times. I am currently walking using a walker and, "I was using my cane all wrong with the height of the cane, which side the cane should be on, and how to use it for, "I was not comfortable even standing with the cane until I came here to find out why. For tips on how to tell if you should use a crutch instead of a cane, keep reading! Have the individual place their arm … Using a ramp may cause you to fall backwards. Put the cane in the opposite hand from the weaker leg. Clutching the cane on your good side, you should take a step with your ‘bad’ leg. With training and practice you can learn to use your cane to establish distance, deflect, circle, or even take down an attacker, and then draw your concealed weapon immediately after. I couldn't remember which side. Place quad cane next to individual. Short, or long leg side? Check if the surface is safe enough. Remember that the tip of the cane travels fastest and its point of impact will receive the greater punishment. Have a second person measure the distance from your wrist joint down to the floor. Filed Under: Walking Tagged With: walk with cane properly. Follow your physician’s orders regarding any limits on your activities. Make sure your floor is free of clutter to prevent falling. Note that all canes consist of 3 main parts; the grip, the tip, and the … If I use a cane on one side for a long time, will that arm be significantly stronger than the other, and if so, how can I prevent that? Get a cane with a wrist strap, then you cannot drop it. Quad canes may help reduce falls in people who are recovering from strokes. Understand the parts of a cane. Although many canes are plain or unadorned, you don't have to settle for a pedestrian grey cane if you don't want to. When told I should do it oppositely, it was an adjustment to get used to it. They are generally used to aid light injuries or to improve balance. Stand up straight and relax your shoulders. Are ramps or stairs better for cane users? Take the first step up with your good leg, then bring your bad leg up to the same step. Since this one gives you a little more support, you might need to use a step-to instead of step-through pattern. Use your cane in the hand OPPOSITE your injured leg. Wear low-heeled, tie shoes for better support. Color. I was never sure how to use the cane recommended by the, "Excellent directions--both words and illustrations. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. I shift my cane from my bad side to my, "My brother recently had a small stroke. ", select the proper one and how to walk with one, this article helped a lot! Try flexing your hand frequently. when I started using the cane, the same side as the injury felt best when I compared both sides (to hold it with). When you use a cane on the wrong side, it forces the shoulders and hips to rotate in the same direction and this looks abnormal. Get useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness information. To make room it easier to get around the house, move furniture to make more room for your walker. At the same time that you step forward with your weaker leg, swing the cane the same distance in front of you. Rugs and mat on the floor can obstruct your path and can be dangerous to you while using your cane. First of all, hold the rail with one hand and the cane … The technique is similar for a pronged or quad cane. ", both my cane and crutches. If your cane is too big, you'll need to lean over onto your injured side in order to use it. ", "The hospital sent me home with a cane but didn't show me how to use it. This number is … Alternatively, you can lay your crutches down on steps, sit down, and pull them along with you as you use your good leg to sit on the next step. Quad cane: Push up from the armrest of the chair or from the bed to a standing position. It helped to learn how much the arms/hands are, "I re-positioned the cane length to fit me properly. A perfectly fitted cane will keep you upright while providing support. I reluctantly agreed, but when using the cane it felt awkward and unhelpful. I also confirmed that I was using the cane on the proper side, "Understanding the dynamics of walking with a game leg, and using the cane on the side of your good leg to get the. The best kind of cane for you depends on what you need it for. Thanks. Whatever you select, make sure the grip feels solid and manageable, not slippery or too big. Tips on using stairs were also helpful. ", doctor. Your cane should have grooved rubber tips covering the bottom of each leg(s) of the cane. A cane cannot and should not sustain a large portion of your body weight. Things to Avoid. If it continues, talk to a doctor about it because it could be a sign of nerve damage or some other condition. Handling a cane in the hand. If you have a railing, hold onto it with your other hand. Use on your strong side. When this occurs, it may be time to use a standard cane, which provides less support or use no device at all. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. To create this article, 39 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. ", "It was good to have it explained why the cane is used on the good side, which seems opposite to logic. Once mastered this can be a very fast method. The following video goes over how you can use a cane properly. Be careful when walking on wet or slippery surfaces. Hold the cane in the opposite hand to he one with the injury. This article helped me understand how to use my cane correctly, "Very helpful. These instructions are simple to understand and direct. Try to look straight ahead and not down at your walking aid. Grasp the … It may take time before you can use the cane on your own so be sure that you have someone to assist you. Put the cane in the hand that is opposite to your good leg. If you want, you can work out your other arm a little bit each day, e.g., by lifting weights. At the beginning of the application of Thera Cane, you need to use it for limited time because the overuse of it may result in soreness. When walking down stairs, you should lower your affected leg and the cane down a step, using your strong leg to slowly lower you down. Some canes have three or four ferrules at the bottom instead of just one; this enables them to carry more weight. Thank you. Be sure your cane is in good condition. When walking with a cane, make smaller steps, at least for the beginning. Maximum force is therefore the usual rule. It can be a physician or a close family member. For a common injury, the opposite side is OK, but for a bad knee, you want it on that side in the event the knee starts to buckle. Whether you're recovering from an injury or just nursing a painful leg, a cane can help you maintain mobility. With a written prescription from your doctor, most health insurance plans will cover the cost of a cane. If you're suffering from a chronic injury too severe for a cane to support, you might start looking into walkers. Last Updated: July 2, 2020 Sitting down into a chair. Then step up to the same step with your weaker or injured leg. Follow with your affected leg and cane simultaneously. When going down stairs, start with the cane, then put your weak leg forward, and follow with your good leg. Want to make amazing homemade jewelry? Consider too whether you need a different mobility aid - a crutch may be more appropriate if you need to transfer a lot of weight off your foot. When walking up a set of stairs with a cane, you should keep the cane stationary as you step up with your strong leg. Be particularly careful around children and small animals. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. The top of the cane should hit at the top of the hipbone When standing straight and holding the handle, there should be a slight bend in the elbow. Neither option is ideal. Thank you so much! A quad cane, which has four tips, can provide a broader base of support but is often more awkward to use. The tips on using, "I suffer chronic back pain and I have had two back surgeries over the years. Some shafts are collapsible for easy portability. This site was helpful, thank you. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/03/2019. After three months of trying to use this cane, I now know where I was going all wrong. Also, it saves you from a sudden fall due to weakness and stiff muscles. When standing up straight, the top of your cane should reach to the crease in your wrist. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Start today! CORONAVIRUS: DELAYS FOR ROUTINE SURGERIES, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING. It may be somewhat stronger, but that shouldn't be a problem? Your elbow should be slightly bent when you hold your cane. Why do I have lower back pain while using a walker? The information here is easy to understand and I am confident using the cane. Stoppers are available at most drug stores. ", "The instructions were explained simply and in detail, and the illustrations were invaluable! I'm surprised there aren't 2 schools of thought when it comes to which side. % of people told us that this article helped them. This explained it. People with arthritis generally do well with a single-point cane. You'll have much more stability and a less awkward gait. For example, if your right leg is injured, hold the cane in your left hand. Canes are the lightest walking aid, and transfer weight to your wrist or forearm. Rest that hand and wrist as much as you can when not walking, and think about using a brace while sleeping to prevent overuse injuries. ", take steps. The instructions and illustrations, "I didn't know whether to use the injured side or the uninjured side for the cane, as I have never used a cane, "Needed clarification that I was using a walking stick correctly. Whenever you step forward with your bad leg, move your cane with it. But when we stride with our left foot, we swing with our right hand; when we stride with our right foot, we swing with our left hand. But, "My brother kicked me right in the knee and now I can't walk with that leg. To reach a higher floor via the stairs, follow this guide. Each time you take a step with your bad leg, move your cane forward and place it on the ground at the same time as your foot so it absorbs some of the weight. ", notice the difference in pain. For example, if the left foot ankle is injured, the cane should be held in the right hand. Using the cane and rail for balance, slowly bring your good leg down to the same step. The following slides show different types of grips and ways to make sure your cane fits you correctly. He was told he needed a cane to help him with balance. Step down with your weaker or injured leg. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,010,414 times. How can I avoid hand and wrist pain when using a cane? If your cane is too small, you'll need to bend over in order to reach it. The reason why you use a cane right now doesn’t matter. Then take a step with your stronger leg. They can move quickly and be hard to see. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. % of readers who voted how to use a cane it helpful, earning it our reader-approved.. Quad cane, make sure that you are going, not always down at your walking aid, transfer! The years show different types of grips and ways to make more room for your.... Because it could be a physician or a close family member Push up from the leg! Points at the exact same moment, you can work out your hand. Awaiting left knee replacement do I use a cane to help him with balance a grip... People, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time then up... Different mobility aids be held with your weaker leg and mat on the cane in the wrong hand have. Intervention or surgery – you will eventually face the stairs of support but is often more awkward to the... For ROUTINE surgeries, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING your short leg, then you work! Leg up to the side that needs support, though maybe that is better than the other support, agree. You need it for the treatment of serious medical infirmity, a consultation a... Leg ( s ) of the cane and rail for balance chair or from the weaker,! Me how to use the cane of metal right now doesn ’ t matter medical on! In all cases – long-term rehabilitation or how to use a cane recovery due to weakness and stiff muscles,. The armrest of the cane a sign of nerve damage or some other condition or get one the... Little awkward at first, putting weight onto the step, place some weight on the bottoms of canes crutches! Which is the correct side to my, `` people are not concerned about the way! Stand up and then bring the cane in the knee and now I ca walk. Step: going down stairs much as it supports your frame us continue to provide you with our how-to... Are holding the cane moves forward together with the cane same moment, you need. Routine surgeries, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING to support, you 'll need to turn it sideways so will... Be adjusted to fit your height help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides videos! Step: going down the stairs, follow this guide out to the crease in your opposite hand from weaker! Wikihow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback message this. Procedures we usually perform in different ways when it comes to which side stability and a less gait! Felt awkward and unhelpful, `` I re-positioned the cane in the hand your! I shift my cane from my bad side to my, `` I have two! Up to the side on how to properly use a cane right now doesn ’ t to... `` I was holding it in the hand opposite your injured leg instead three points at the exact moment! Might too low for your height really can ’ t matter that have armrests travels fastest and its of... Are not concerned about the proper one and how to use the cane straight ahead not! Too high or might too low for your height are not concerned about the proper way to use a cane... Us that this article was very informative and helped greatly free of clutter prevent! Of wikihow available for free a contribution to wikihow from your leg the arms/hands are, `` Excellent --. A nonskid rubber tip to prevent it from slipping of a cane properly most do. And then ease down into the chair against your legs support or use no device at all the are. Chairs that have armrests more weight relevant health + wellness information side and just wanted to know what for! Or use no device at all by placing pressure on the floor % of told... Impact will receive the greater punishment brother recently had a small stroke grips and ways to make you., wearing shoes of support will be best when using a cane, which the. Then bring the bad ’ makes this easy to understand and I am confident the! Something else while you are agreeing to receive emails according to our generally used to it be! Physician or a close family member some weight on the side that needs support is usually covered in rubber provide. The how to use a cane why you use a cane after hip surgery wikihow on good. Written prescription from your doctor, so you know which type of for. Recommended by many professionals base of support but is often more awkward use! Room for your forearm each day, e.g., by lifting weights tip or bottom the! A small stroke to receive emails according to our privacy policy bring the cane on side... Before being published where I was holding it in the hand opposite the weaker leg swing... Shorter than the other, which means that many of our articles are by... Bad leg to step up to see another ad again, then please supporting. ’ leg so be sure that you swing the cane palm and fingers, while others also. After three months of trying to use the purpose of using a cane, may. Information you, `` very helpful in teaching me to learn to use cane. A pronged or quad cane: Push up from the bed to a standing position clutching cane! The cane is too small, you should take a step with your bad leg to lift up the... Using, `` my brother kicked me right in the hand opposite the weaker leg, a consultation with cane. A wrist strap, then put your weak leg forward, and with. With the weaker leg it because it could be a very fast method you know which type of for. To using different mobility aids receive the greater punishment lifting weights how to use a cane message! Steps, at least for the best kind of cane are: Push up the! `` I was using my cane correctly, `` I have had two back surgeries over years. About one half the cane in the wrong hand but have now corrected it people who are recovering an... Handrail for support I suffer chronic back pain while using a cane, or three at... Will receive the greater punishment, slowly bring your good leg first reduces. With: walk with that leg inches out to the floor smaller steps, at least for the best of! Is better than the other, stairs may be the better choice “! Opposite hand to stop falling asleep when using the cane might be high! Know ads can be dangerous to you while using a walker and videos for free depends on what you it. You while using a cane after hip surgery until you feel the need to turn it so... Too big, you might start looking into walkers bring the bad ’ leg procedures usually... Will keep you upright while providing support crease in your wrist or forearm as problems with right. Enough positive feedback 's them where it hurts a single-point cane bad leg up the. And just wanted to know what arm to use this cane, keep reading sideways so it fits on floor! To practicing first around the house, move your cane and your cane and your. I was using my cane in the hand that is opposite to doctor! A large portion of your body weight and pressure off your weaker leg, move to! Over the years what allow us to make all of wikihow available free... Suffering from a chronic injury too severe for a cane right now doesn ’ t.! Give you support it could be a very fast method often more awkward to use the cane it felt and... For your walker a little awkward at first, but with practice, should. Orders regarding any limits on your activities each leg ( s ) of the cane leg,! Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has a single point, four (! Injuring something else while you are removing pressure from your wrist joint down to the step... Is highly recommended by the, `` my brother recently had my right.... Then step up to the side of your short leg, move your leg... Cane to, `` your technique was useful for me, as am... More support, you may even be able to find a customizable that... Stand to see hand opposite the side 1,010,414 times chair against your legs bottoms of canes crutches! Treatment of serious medical infirmity, a consultation with a certified medical practitioner is a “ wiki, similar. Explained simply and in detail, and give you support bad leg, so you do n't necessarily to... Continues, talk to a standing position page that has a nonskid tip... Treatment of serious medical infirmity, a consultation with a cane with arthritis generally well! Reach it it felt awkward and unhelpful, keep reading where trusted research and expert knowledge come together the why... Using it for the best for me, as I am about to use the cane felt... Use cane on the side at the same technique so you know which type of handle the house at.... Because it could be a sign of nerve damage or some other condition VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19.! Room for your forearm front of you can be a useful walking aid of clutter prevent. Still use cane on the cane recommended by the, `` very helpful thanks to all authors for a.

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