If you ever break a bone in your leg or foot, have a surgical procedure on your lower limb, or suffer a stroke, you may need to use crutches, a cane, or a walker.
In the beginning, everything you do may seem difficult. But, with a few tips and some practice, you will gain confidence and learn to use your walking aid safely.
Remove scatter rugs, electrical cords, spills, and anything else that may cause you to fall.
In the bathroom, use nonslip bath mats, grab bars, a raised toilet seat, and a shower tub seat.
Simplify your household to keep the items you need handy and everything else out of the way.
Use a backpack, fanny pack, apron, or briefcase to help you carry things around.
You may find it helpful to use a cane if you have a small problem with balance or instability, some weakness in your leg or trunk, an injury, or pain. If you are elderly, a single point cane may also help you to keep living independently.
The top of your cane should reach to the crease in your wrist when you stand up straight. Your elbow should bend a bit when you hold your cane. Hold the cane in the hand opposite the side that needs support.
When you walk, the cane and your injured leg swing and strike the ground at the same time. To start, position your cane about one small stride ahead and step off on your injured leg. Finish the step with your normal leg.
To climb stairs, grasp the handrail (if possible) and step up on your good leg first, with your cane in the hand opposite the injured leg. Then step up on the injured leg. To come down stairs, put your cane on the step first, then your injured leg, and finally the good leg, which carries your body weight.
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