Why Do People Use Walking Canes?
Balance or Stability
For individuals who have been bedridden for a considerable period, regaining balance and stability can be a challenging task. However, using a walking cane as a retraining tool can significantly improve their ability to stand and walk with balance.
The walking cane provides a stable and supportive base that enables individuals to focus on their posture, weight distribution, and gait pattern. With regular use, individuals can gradually regain their balance and confidence, leading to improved mobility and reduced risk of falls.
Recovering for Surgery
It's common to require a walking cane for a short period after undergoing knee, hip, or leg surgery. A walking cane can be especially helpful in providing support and stability while you recover. However, it's important to note that if you use a cane after surgery, you should hold it in the hand opposite the leg you had surgery on or the weaker one.
This is because the cane should support your weaker side and help distribute weight evenly to both legs. Using the cane, on the other hand, can also improve your balance and reduce the chances of falling or stumbling while walking.
Using a walking cane can help reduce the amount of pain you have in the affected leg. It does this by helping body weight be distributed evenly. This helps reduce the strain on lower body joints like the knees or ankles. It will also help prevent further injury. Some people with arthritis in their legs may not always use the cane. Finding the right size and type of cane will offer the most benefits.
Certain medical conditions can cause physical impairments that require using a cane for safe walking. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, stroke/CVA, Parkinson's Disease, peripheral neuropathy, vertigo, or multiple sclerosis (MS).
These conditions can affect a person's strength, flexibility, and balance, so walking unassisted can be unsafe. In such cases, a walking cane can provide additional support and stability, allowing individuals to move around more safely and confidently.
Weakness in a Leg
Individuals who experience leg weakness often encounter challenges maintaining stability due to the possibility of their weakened leg giving out unexpectedly. This leg weakness may manifest as a limp or frequent dragging of one foot.
However, using a walking cane can provide temporary support, allowing for more fluid and natural movements and reducing the abnormal stress and strain on the body. As symptoms begin to improve with the use of the walking stick, individuals may gradually increase their walking distance and engage in more physical activities.