Tips for Choosing Canes and Crutches
At some point in your life, you may find that you need a walking aid of some kind in order to walk easy while healing from an injury or illness. Not everyone likes the idea of being stuck in a wheelchair. Most people will turn instead to canes and crutches to help them get around. If this happens to you or a loved one, will you know what type you should buy and if it is the right fit? We will give you a few examples of the different types of walking aids available, as well as some tips for selecting the right one and using it.
Need help deciding what is right type of walking aid for you? At Mobility Specialists, we have a wide range of canes and crutches. Call us today and experienced professionals will help you select exactly what you need.
Types of Canes and Crutches Available
Canes come in a variety of styles and designs but the most telling feature on all of them is the point. Generally made of metal, plastic or rubber, the point is the key to the overall stability of the cane, as well as the part that takes the most pressure off of an injured leg. A cane will either have a single point or a quad point, a brace of four points to create more stable canes for walking.
Crutches on the other hand are generally made of either aluminum or wood, with plastic or rubber tips and grips. There are two distinct styles of crutches on the market: the standard crutch that fits under the arm, or arm crutches, that attach to the forearm. Walking with crutches takes practice to master, and can be difficult for some people, but with the right fit, it can be done.
Canes for walking should be used always in the hand opposite of the leg that requires extra support. When moving about, swing the cane out with the injured leg, and place the pressure upon the cane, not the injured leg. When tackling stairs, shift the cane to the opposite hand, leaving the cane and the injured leg on the floor, while moving your other foot to the first step. Grab the handrail and bring the cane and the injured leg to the step. Repeat until you reach your destination.
Crutches should be selected with care to ensure a proper fit. While standing straight, measure the crutch against your side. The top of the crutch should come up within a couple of inches from your armpit, and never be above that height. Double check the grips and tips for wear or splits. When moving about, move both crutches to about 18 inches in front of you, while supporting your body on the grips. Swing forward, placing your weight on the crutches alone. Always allow canes and crutches to support you, not your injured legs.