It is not uncommon that a treating physician or a therapist may recommend that you use a cane, crutch or a walker. This may be before, after or even without history of surgery. Appropriate type of "walking aide (cane, crutch or walker)" is very essential. Walking aides (cane, crutch or walker) are commonly recommended for improving balance, decreasing the weight on one or both feet (while walking) or for both reasons. In normal walking, we advance one Lower extremity (leg) and the opposite upper extremity (arm) to maintain good balance (please the photo). It is important that use of the walking aide is done properly otherwise it may increase the risk of falls or may not assist the purpose for which it was prescribed.
I recommend a formal training by a trained therapist so you can learn the proper use and gain confidence in how to walk with it. It is always advantageous to have your family member also observe you learning how to use the walking aide, so they can reinforce such method after you complete training.
The links provided are to demonstrate how to properly use such devices both as video and as illustrations. If you have any questions or do not feel secure using the walking aide, make sure you let your therapist or physician know and if necessary have additional training.
Learning proper use of cane, crutch or walker
Publications ( Health care - Self Help Resources )
COMMON POINTS TO REMEMBER:
When you hold the cane your elbow on that side should not be bent > 15 or 20 degrees or kept fully straight.
Appropriate height of the cane should be determined before you start using it. Do not borrow others walking aides without determining that they are appropriate for you.
Avoid placing the cane too far away from you or put too close to your foot. This may lead to your losing the balance and falling.
The cane or crutch should be firmly planted on the ground before you advance your leg. Periodically check the rubber at the end of the cane for ware and tare (if you are using cane regularly for long time)
SUGGESTED REFERENCES: Please note that some of the information may be repeated in different references and it may reinforce the knowledge you have previously acquired. Select the one that best suits your need. This material was developed by other professionals/ organizations and we compiled that for you.
⦁ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-9OxwOQX9c - How to use cane, crutch and walker U tube video.
This demonstrates the training nicely and this can reinforce the training you may have already received.
⦁ http://www.wikihow.com/Hold-and-Use-a-Cane-Correctly - How to use cane and crutches properly.
⦁ http://justwalkers.com/using-a-cane/ - How to measure for a cane.
⦁ http://blog.rollmobility.com/2010/08/09/walking-cane-safety-tips/ - Safety tips for using cane.