If you require a little assistance moving from place to place, you must choose the right medical walking cane for your needs. Mobility issues affect people of all ages and with various conditions, and a cane can help by reducing pressure on joints, relieving pain, preventing falls and providing support. Take time to research, so you're sure the one you choose offers the best relief for your symptoms.
Read on to find out more about how to select the right medical cane for your circumstances.
- Single Point Canes
Straight single point canes are the standard for individuals who need to balance their weight distribution or get a bit of extra stability. The single tip cane provides minimal support compared to quad canes, but they're sufficient for most individuals who experience stiffness or mild pain. This type of medical walking cane is available with many different handle styles, which we'll discuss in more detail later.
- Quad Canes
This type of cane features a wider base than a single point cane, with four metal feet. This offers additional support and stability to individuals who've been affected by partial paralysis, stroke or who are in recovery from major surgery. These heavy-duty medical walking canes redistribute your weight almost entirely to help you move smoothly.
- Folding Canes
Folding canes are standard canes with the added benefit of being entirely portable. This means you can pack it away in your car, backpack, purse or suitcase. The majority of these canes are adjustable, increasing in one-inch increments from 33 to 37 inches. They tend to be made from aluminum, which is much lighter than traditional wood, less of a burden on your joints — and more comfortable to carry.
- Wood Canes
On the other hand, some traditionalists prefer the look of a solid wood cane. These can be used in either hand and usually feature a candy cane handle. Compared to their aluminum counterparts, they're not typically adjustable, and most experts don't recommend them for people with joint issues in their hands. However, they make a great visual statement and are the preferred choice for people not suffering from a severe health ailment.
- Bariatric Canes
If you're a more substantial individual, a bariatric cane is likely the right choice for you. These offer users additional support by withstanding more pressure and stress than a standard cane. Steel tubing often helps to reinforce this type of medical walking cane, so they're ideal for individuals who have been diagnosed as obese. A typical bariatric cane has a 500-pound weight capacity.
- Umbrella Canes
An umbrella cane is a cleverly designed standard cane that's hidden in an umbrella. These are ideal for rainy days where you still need to get out and about. These types of cane tend to have lower weight capacity and are non-adjustable. As such, if you have a specific medical condition beyond requiring a little extra support, this might not be the ideal choice.
Types of Handle
When you're looking into which type of handle to choose, the most crucial thing for you to focus on is your hands. Think about the size of your hands, whether you experience any stiffness of numbness and consider that you'll be placing considerable weight on your hand and wrist.
- Round Handle Canes
Round handled canes are more aesthetically pleasing than useful for any medical purposes. However, if the handle is foam, this can offset the lack of support provided by this shape.
Curved canes are slightly more ergonomic than their round cousins, and they're extra convenient because you can hang them easily on hooks and chairs. If you do choose this style, we'd recommend choosing a handle that's padded or made from foam to relieve pressure on the joints in your hand. If you struggle to apply grip force, we'd recommend going for an offset or angled handle cane with a large grip.
- Offset Handle Canes
These handles are the most ergonomic of all. They distribute your weight evenly across the handle, all the way down the shaft. They're usually made from pliable rubber, which absorbs the impact from the ground and provides a comfortable cushioned surface for more delicate hands.
- Angled Handle Canes
Angled handle canes are designed for comfort and to give you extra control over your medical cane. In terms of style, angled handle canes are the most dynamic of all. You can get animal shapes; Fritz handles, Derby handles, ergonomic, orthopedic and palm grip.
How to Use Medical Walking Cane
Here's a step-by-step guide that takes you through the process of choosing the right medical cane and getting started with how to use it.
- Decide whether you need a single or quad tip. Quad tips are mainly for people with more severe mobility issues, such as someone in recovery from a stroke. Your physician or physiotherapist will be able to advise you on which is best for your condition.
- Choose your handle type. This is partly a matter of personal preference, but it's also important to consider that the shape you choose can significantly impact the bones and joints in your hand.
- Make sure the fit is perfect. An ill-fitting cane might cause you to walk off balance, therefore potentially misaligning your spine and leading to further mobility issues.
- Check that the top of the cane lines up with the crease in your wrist.
- Make sure your elbow bends comfortably at around 15 degrees.
- Hold the cane in the hand opposite to the affected leg. When you step forward with the unaffected leg, leave the cane in place and then move it in unison with the affected leg.
Buy a Medical Walking Cane Here
If you've chosen which medical walking cane is best suited to your individual needs, why not browse the extensive range on MedontheGo.com.