Whether you broke a bone, suffered a stroke, or had a bad fall, a cane assists your mobility when needed. If you have troubling walking or balancing, using a cane should come as a no-brainer, and it’s an essential element in helping you maintain daily physical activity.
However, if you haven’t used a cane before, you might be wondering how it works and which way the handle is supposed to go. Here are a few tips for walking with a cane the right way.
Learn How To Position It Properly
The first step toward walking with a cane properly is to learn the correct positioning. If you’re standing straight up, the cane’s top should be at an equal level to your wrist’s crease. For your elbow, you should bend it slightly while holding your cane, so you don’t overextend your joints.
Then, put the cane in the hand opposite the side of your body that needs support. For instance, if you hurt your left ankle, put the cane in your right hand. Canes help you balance and stabilize yourself if your legs or back end need more support, but you need to know how much weight a cane can support.
Practice the Mechanics of Walking in Different Environments
After you get acclimated to holding the cane and standing with it, you need to learn how to walk with it. Your cane should be one small step ahead of you for each movement you make with it.
Then, take the step on your good foot. However, overextending your cane raises the risk of a fall, so you don’t want to go too far. As you learn, take baby steps so you can get the basics down.
Once You’re Comfortable Walking, Climbing Stairs Is the Next Step
Before learning how to climb stairs with a cane, you should be quite comfortable walking on various textures and elevations. After that, stairs are the next obstacle. Walking upstairs is similar to other settings, but there are some minor differences.
Your opposite hand should be holding the cane, but hold onto the railing for extra support with your open hand. Then, put your foot forward and take the first step with that leg.
Support yourself with the cane and railing after taking the step with your good foot, then take the next one with your injured side. To go downstairs, perform this routine in reverse, with the injured leg going down, then taking the step with your good leg.
Overall, walking with a cane isn’t impossible, but there are a few things you need to learn before you can take the first step. Now that you know a few tips for walking with a cane the right way, you can go wherever you want!