If you’re new to using a cane, then you’ll want to learn how to walk with a cane right away. Otherwise, it may be more of a nuisance than an added assist.
Walking with a cane can be a challenge, especially if you’re still recovering. But with these tips, you won’t have anything to worry about.
So if you are interested in learning how to walk with a cane, then be sure to stick around. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
Table of Contents
Pick the Right Cane for You
A tall cane user should select a cane that is sized accordingly and has a hand grip that falls at elbow height. If you plan on using your cane in slippery or uneven terrain, a cane with a wide base will provide stability.
You may want to consider choosing wooden walking canes and enjoy their benefits. Once you have selected the appropriate cane for your needs, it is important to practice safe walking techniques.
Learn How to Grip the Cane
After figuring out which type of cane—offset, ergonomic, or quad—works best for you and your lifestyle, you must learn how to grip the cane. A proper grip on the cane helps to support yourself and should be found in the handle at the very top of the cane. For all types of canes, keep your wrist bent, and do not grasp the cane tightly with your hand as this restricts your range of movement.
You should also be mindful of your posture while walking with a cane. Proper posture maximizes contact and aids in stability and balance.
Navigate Uneven Surfaces With Your Cane
Start by gripping your cane in your hand with your index finger extended along the shaft and your thumb pointed upward. Step forward placing the cane ahead of the foot on the same side, while pushing down with the hand pole. Take small steps and probe the cane in front of you to assess the terrain.
Pivot your feet as needed to adjust the cane to the idyllic angle. When stepping over a threshold or up and down stairs, brief the cane ahead of your foot to test the height of the surface. When you reach the top, you’ll want to be sure to shift your weight onto the cane on both sides.
To descend stairs, keep your body parallel to the stair, leading with the cane and maintaining a steady, even pressure on the shaft of the cane.
Adjust Gait and Grip to Suit Your Needs
A good grip is comfortable, secure, and stable. The gait should be individualized to your body style and abilities. The right gait will reduce pain, and fatigue and prevent falls.
To adjust the grip, make sure the handle size is comfortable and fits your hand. Test by attempting to tilt the handle forward and back. For the gait, space both feet the same distance apart that turns the cane into a single staff, and move them together side by side.
After adjusting the cane to fit you, practice different gaits on different surfaces and in various situations.
Start Learning How to Walk with a Cane
Walk with confidence and independence with your cane. Use the tips provided on how to walk with a cane as a base to build your strategy. Remember – healthy walking starts with proper posture, even step patterns, and relaxed motion.
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