If you are experiencing pain that is making it difficult to balance, walk, or move around and function as you normally would, a cane or walker may be extremely helpful not only to make mobility faster, but more comfortable as well. The type of cane or walker that is best suited for your needs depends on factors such as your level of strength, fitness level, and balance. Rather than choosing the device yourself, be sure to make the decision with the help of your chiropractor.
Do I Need a Cane or Walker?
If you are experiencing pain on one side of the body but not the other, you may want to consider using a cane. On the other hand, if you are unsteady on both sides of the body or are experiencing poor balance, a walker might be the best choice for you. Before making the decision, let your chiropractor know that you are considering a cane or walker, so that they can evaluate how strong you are, the level of your physical fitness, and your overall balance before recommending a product that is best for you.
A big reason that people put off using a walker or cane is that they do not want to look old. However, if you are feeling unbalanced and fall as a result of this, you will most likely need much more than a cane. It is better for your comfort and health in the long-run to opt for a cane or walker now and not pay for it later.
Using a Cane
If you decide that a cane is the best option for the location of your pain, it is important to note the correct way to use one. Be sure to place the cane in the hand opposite the side of your body that is injured or unbalanced. So, if your left leg is injured, hold the cane with your right hand.
To use, put all of your weight on your good leg. Move the cane with the bad leg at the same time. When you are just beginning to use your cane or walker, try not to take big steps, or set the cane on the ground too far ahead of you, as this could cause you to fall. With your weight supported by your cane and your weaker leg, take a step forward using the uninjured leg.
Using a Walker
Walker’s come in all kinds of shapes and sizes – there are walkers with wheels, walkers without wheels, some with wheels only in the front and some even have four wheels, a seat and a basket. If you opt for a walker without any wheels attached, you will need to continuously lift the walker and place it in front of you with every step. If the walker has wheels, you simply roll it forward and walk as you normally would. As with using a cane, be sure when you are starting out with a walker to only move it a small distance at a time so the walker does not roll too far forward and loses its ability to support you.
At first, it might feel a bit awkward to walk with a cane or walker. However, over time, it will become second nature and before you know it you will be walking like a pro – only with less pain than you had before!