A comprehensive guide on How to walk comfortably with a cane

Cane is a very Useful Assistive device that helps one to walk safely when a person is dealing with trouble due to injury, pain or weakness. A patient can use a cane for an unfixed time or as long as his physician recommends after a surgery or the person recovers from an injury or stroke. 

Canes are helpful to make walking easier, comfortable and safer helping the persons to carry on with their daily activities efficiently, independently and stay active.

People with walking difficulties or abnormalities are the most beneficials of a cane, which help to avoid the risk of falling, balancing problems, weakness, or pain, particularly to the hips, knee or feet. 

Tips on Using a Cane for the Beginners:

  • The Cane should be held in the hand that’s opposite to the side that needs support.
  • The Cane needs to be positioned slightly to the side and about 2 inches forward.
  • The Cane and the affected leg should step forward at the same time. 
  • One Should hold the Cane firm in place while walking forward with one’s unaffected leg. 

Patients who are new to walking with a cane might need someone to assist or supervise, guide, support and stabilize them until they get completely confident and are able to venture out on their own. 

Using the Cane while climbing stairs: Extreme caution needs to be taken while navigating a restraint or steps using a Cane. For better support hold onto the handrail. Step up with the Unaffected leg first if only one of the legs are affected. Then, with the affected leg and cane, step up at the same time. While  getting down the stairs, first put the cane on the lower step, then, place the affected leg onto the step, along with the unaffected leg. When using a Quad Cane on the stairs, the person should turn the cane to the side as it can fit better on the stair.

Sitting into chairs:  It’s best to choose chairs with armrests whenever possible. Person willing to sit down is best to position himself in front of the chair as the edge of the seat must touch the back of his legs. By holding the Cane with one hand and placing the other hand on the armrest (for single-tip cane) or (while using a quad cane with four tips) gently lower oneself down into the chair. This is how to practice sitting into a chair.

Cane use after Knee Surgery/ Hip surgery as an assistive device could provide the patient to get back his mobility and help in quick healing. Wearing non slip rubber shoes, changing the worn-out rubber tip or that has lost its traction of the Cane in use are the few cautions to notice.

Other tips are:

  • Instead of looking down Look straight.
  • Before walking ahead make sure the Cane is completely stable.
  • To avoid a slip, make sure not to place the Cane too far forward.
  • Keeping the walkway clear of any for seen Obstacles like clutter, furniture’s or electric cords that could obstruct the walking path. 
  • Beware of children, slippery rugs and pets.
  • Make sure all the walkways have enough light. 
  • A well-lit pathway from the patient’s room to the bathroom, non-slip bath mats, a raised toilet seat, safety bars and a shower tub seat can ease the activities. 
  • Arrange the living space such that all the items the Cane user needs are easy to access. Using a fanny pack or cross-body bag or backpack or using an apron or fixing a tiny bag to the Cane using Velcro would be helpful to keep the hands free. 
  • Consulting the patient’s Doctor or physical therapist is best to select a Cane that might fit the particular needs of the patient. A Cane with perfect Grip should be selected. Get a Cane on the Right Size and also a Modifiable one to be able to make alterations.


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