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How to Use a Walking Cane or Walking Stick

Using a Walking Cane or Stick

Walking canes are used for various reasons. You may use or know someone who may need to use a walking cane to assist in balance, widen the base of support, and actually decrease weight bearing on a lower extremity. Knowing how to properly use a walking cane will better aid in these functions.

Following are the appropriate ways to walk with a walking cane:

  • Hold the cane in the hand on your unaffected side so that it provides support to the opposite lower limb
  • Advance the cane simultaneously with the opposite affected lower limb
  • Lean your weight through the arm holding the cane as needed
  • Always have the unaffected lower limb assume the first full weight-bearing step on level surfaces

For whatever reasons you are using a walking cane always be sure to check your cane regularly for any damaged, missing or loose parts. Keeping your walking cane in good condition will ensure that you have a safe trip every time.

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