Canes are used for many reasons like balance issues, surgeries, injuries, and more. Using a cane can help give you the confidence to start moving again by yourself. While helping you take the pressure off of the bad leg or foot. However, if you are not using a cane properly to walk it will not allow you to gain the full benefits of using the cane.
For anyone who has not used a cane but is getting ready to use one almost always asks which hand should you hold your cane in? This guide will explore this question in greater detail so you know can be sure to use your cane properly.
Which hand should you hold your cane? You should hold your cane in the hand opposite to the leg that is injured or weak. This allows you to remove weight more efficiently on your bad foot, knee, or leg when moving.
Why Holding The Cane In Your Opposite Hand Than The Injured Leg Works
You are holding the cane in the hand opposite of the leg that is injured or needs help.
This is because this provides the most strength for the weak leg in terms of getting pressure off of it by putting that pressure on the cane and the hand and arm that is holding on to the cane.
Let’s look at an example of this.
The person needs a cane because they injured their left knee after slipping. They spoke to their doctor he recommended using a cane to take the pressure off of the hurt knee so it can heal faster.
What hand do you hold the cane in if the left knee is injured? The right hand. You will hold the cane in the opposite hand of the leg injury.
Now when you start to walk you want to move the cane when you move the injured left leg out as well.
When you start to put pressure down on the injured right leg you will want to then put pressure down on the cane and your right arm and hand.
Make Sure Your Cane Is Properly Adjusted To Your Height
It is very important to make sure your cane is the proper height and is fitted properly. Like we have said before consult your doctor or physical therapist to make sure you have the proper cane for your condition. Follow the steps below to make sure your cane is the proper height.
- Stand up straight and hold the cane in the hand opposite of your injured leg. Let the cane tip rest on the floor.
- Hold the handle in your hand, the cane handle should come up to your hip bone on your upper thigh.
- Another indicator to look for is your elbow should have a 20 degrees bend in it.
- To double-check this stand straight and the top of the cane should be at wrist level with you have your hands naturally at your side.
Ask Your Physical Therapist To Check Your Cane Height
If you feel more comfortable consult with your doctor or physical therapist on how to walk with your cane and to size it for you.
They will gladly show you what to do to walk the right way with a cane and to size you correctly for the cane you need.
They will also provide you with the proper exercise to strengthen your injured legs if they see fit.
Using Your Cane Wrong
It can be dangerous if you use your cane wrong as you can be more prone to falling.
It will also cause you to have the wrong posture, back pain, and loss of balance that can all be bad for you when using a cane or walking device incorrectly.
In fact, it can be more dangerous using a cane the doesn’t fit you correctly than not using one at all.
This can cause more pain in different areas of your body like your shoulders, back, and arms. Be sure to take the time and ask for help if you need to currently size your cane.
This article should provide you with a good starting point on choosing the correct hand when using a cane.
It is also beneficial to know the right size of the cane for your body as this can negatively impact your ability to walk correctly and even contribute to your falling easier.
If you are not completely confident in what to do you should consult your doctor or therapist and get the professional help you need to properly walk with a cane.
When is it time to start using a cane? You will know when your body tells you it’s time. We mean when you have balance issues, stability problems, find it hard to walk without holding onto something for balance or suffering from joint pain. Or when your door tells you its time.
What is the difference between a walking stick and a cane? The main difference is a walking stick and cane is a walking stick that is temporary walking aid used outside. A cane is a long term mobility tool to help take weight off of a bad leg to walk easier.
Is it better to walk with a cane or a walker? Generally, a cane is ideal for when you have an issue with one side of your body. Walkers are more suited for pain that occurs on both sides.