There are several varying reasons for why you may need to buy a cane. While this seems like a simple, straightforward task, it’s important not to neglect some helpful information first. There are several things to consider when buying a cane including the type, size, and the overall feel. To learn what to know when buying a cane, read below.
Using a Cane
Understanding the proper use of a cane is vital for a user’s safety. Canes are meant to improve mobility and balance for a person with who is physically disabled. This could be a person who’s permanently disabled, recovering from an injury, or, most often, a person who is elderly. Many elderly people in assisted living or nursing homes will use a cane to help them get around. The common cane has a single tip with a rubber point to prevent it from slipping. Quad canes are designed with four tips to create a broader base for extra support. The idea is to be able to successfully put body weight on the cane for improved balance and security.
Selecting a Grip Type
There’s a variety of different cane grips you can choose from. Grip types are generally based on personal preference. There are grips made of foam that are designed to conform to the shape of your hand. Those suffering from conditions like arthritis or other joint problems might prefer a larger grip. Foam and other grip types are made so your joints will be relieved of any stress while holding the cane. Issues like numbness or pain in your hand and fingers is a sign that you need a different grip. Consult with a physical therapist to decide on a grip type that’s best for you.
Check Your Cane Size
Size is an incredibly important part of what to know when buying a cane. There are some types of metal canes that are adjustable, but many other types aren’t. It’s important to know how to measure your cane before you go looking to purchase one. Important details to check when sizing your cane is checking your elbow bend and your wrist height. Your elbow should be at an angle that’s comfortable. To check your wrist height, make sure the top of the cane lines up with the crease of your wrist.
Testing the Cane
The main test to see if a specific cane will work for you is to see how you feel while walking with it. The cane should be held in your hand that is opposite of the affected leg. Move the cane along with the affected leg. Make sure to keep the cane in place when stepping with the unaffected leg. Don’t forget to test the cane on some stairs as well. Hold onto the railing if one’s available and step first with your unaffected leg. Then, move the cane as you step with the affected leg. To go down the steps, put your cane on the lower step first, then step down with the affected leg followed by the unaffected one.