Most of us will find ourselves using a cane at some point in our life. Canes provide critical support for those in rehabilitation from knee or hit surgery. When the need does arise and you find yourself with a can in hand, do you know how to use it properly?
These pointers will help you avoid further injury from misuse of this support and gain the most from the use of your cane so that you heal properly and regain your free movement as soon as possible.
Step 1: Check the length of the cane by standing straight with your arms at your sides. Adjust the cane until the top of it reaches the crease on the inside of your wrist. When you hold the cane, your elbow should be flexed about 15 degrees.
Step 2: Hold the cane in the hand that is on the same side as your good leg. For example, if your right leg is injured, hold the cane in your left hand. If your left leg is injured, hold the cane in your right hand.
Step 3: Begin walking by taking a step forward on your injured leg and move the cane forward at the same time. By doing this, you will put your weight on your cane and injured leg at the same time, allowing the cane to absorb more of the strain than the injured leg. Do not use the cane to step with your good leg.
Walking up stairs with a cane: Hold onto the railing with one hand and place your cane in the other hand. Put the cane one step up. Then, take the first step with your strong leg. Bring the injured leg up to the same step.
Walking down stairs with a cane: Hold onto the railing with one hand and place your cane in the other hand. Put your cane on the step first, then your injured leg, and then your good leg, which will carry your body weight.
Whether you are currently using a cane or anticipate the need for using one, you might also plan on attending the regular Balance Class presented by the Wellness staff at Plymouth Harbor.
Reference: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. (2007). How to use crutches, canes, and walkers. OrthoInfo. Reference (Photos): WikiHow. (2013). How to Hold and Use a Cane Correctly.