Choosing the Correct Walking Cane
I’ve got a walking cane that used to belong to my grandfather. He got it while vacationing in Mexico. It’s wooden with carved multicolored animals’ faces on it. I’m not sure how I ended up with it. I just kept it around as a “keepsake” you know, something to help me remember my Paw-Paw.
Then as I grew older, I found out that I wasn’t indestructible. Where did this backache come from? I decided the wooden cane might get me some relief.
At first, I noticed it was a little short. But, that’s ok, good enough for Paw-paw, good enough for me. Then the darn thing kept slipping around on me. There was no tip on it! Just a worn wooden end, rounded down from years of use. So, I found me an old chair and robbed the rubber tip off of it. Now I’m “good-to-go”. Then, I noticed it had a crack in the lower half of the wood. So,with a heavy sigh, I had to admit the truth. This cane is a forty year-old keepsake. And if I continue to try to use it, I believe both my back and the cane will suffer.
Finally, I decided it was time to replace this old cane with something better.
I retired my Paw-Paw’s old wooden cane and I went out shopping for a new one.
I found this metal adjustable cane. I can set it at just the right height for me, and it doesn’t slip around at all. Seems it came with a rubber tip installed made just to fit. When I started using it, I thought anyone can do this! I see people walking with canes on TV all the time. But then I kept switching hands. First the right, then the left. I tried walking in sync with my left leg, then my right leg, I even tried using it like it was a third leg. Left, right, cane, left, right, cane.
So far none of this helping my back at all. How the heck does this thing work?
If this scenario sounds familiar, you need help. Don’t wait until something terrible happens, like a fall. Falls are serious and can be debilitating. A broken bone or a cracked skull is not worth the risk. There’s only one real answer. Get the right cane for you and learn how to correctly use it. You might speak with a doctor or a physical therapist or somebody who knows what there talking about so they can determine what will work best for you. Below are some general guidelines. They are not exhaustive but its’ a start.
Here some safe use guidelines for canes:
- When using a cane, be careful around wet and slippery surfaces.
- Remove rugs and mats that could slip or cause a tripping hazard.
- Use the cane with one hand only, not both.
- Check the cane for proper height. Stand up straight with your arm by your side and your elbows straight. The cane should be tall enough to come to your wrist, just past the palm of your hand. When holding the handle of the cane, your elbow should be slightly bent.
- Occasionally check the tip for wear and replace it if necessary.
- Keep your cane within your reach when you are seated or when lying down.
Once you get the right walking cane for you, and learn the right method of using it, there will be smiling faces all around. :o)