Medical aids such as canes and crutches are often recommended by medical providers to users with mobility or balance problems to help them walk with more confidence and stability.
These aids can be helpful for long-term or short-term usage depending upon the illness or injury of the person. Both canes and crutches support walking by transferring the body weight from the lower part of the body to the upper section for improved balance and to take pressure away from one leg or both legs, dependent on the issue.
Canes take less weight off the lower body than crutches, and while crutches distribute the weight more evenly across the upper body, a cane places significant pressure on the hand and wrist it is held in, so is more often used for general stability than propelling forward.
At RehabPulse, we have a wide range of canes and crutches to choose from. If you need help deciding, read the helpful information below, or call our experts at 1-877-234-2018.
A type of medical equipment which is available in many varieties designed for individuals with visual impairments or physical mobility limitations in their day-to-day activity.
Mobility limitations such as poor balance when walking or standing and reduced lower body strength due to illness or injury are key drivers for using a cane. They can also be beneficial to individuals with limps, pain or weakness on one half of the body.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Cane
There are many factors to consider before choosing a cane that fits your requirements. Take advice from your medical provider to help you choose the right cane as they will be able to recommend the best style to fit your specific requirements, including physical strength, stability, and level of fitness.
Size: Choose a cane that is the correct size for your body. If you opt for an adjustable cane, it allows you to customize the height to ensure maximum comfort and ease of use.
Grip: Curved and rounded grips reduce the stress on your joints. Having an optimized grip for your hand reduces the risk of numbness, strain or joint pain.
Advice: Your doctor can advise you on the right model to support your needs, whether that is developing your muscle strength, better balance, or improving your stability.
Assistance: Have someone available to support you when you first start walking with your cane. Make sure you feel fully confident before you venture out on your own.
Different Types of Canes Available At RehabPulse
Standard canes: This model is popularly made of wood or aluminium but can come in other materials. This model is not adjustable, so is purchased at a fixed height.
Folding canes: This model is foldable so it can be easily carried or stored in a small space when not in use. Some models come with LED lights too for visibility after dark.
Adjustable canes: Adjustable canes can be easily adjusted to suit different heights on the go, without the need for any tools. They are lightweight and sturdy.
Canes with a seat: This model features multiple-legs and a foldable seat. This is a useful addition for people who want to be active but need the support and stability of a cane and would like the option to stop and catch their breath when out and about.
Quad canes: This four-legged walking aid offers more stability than traditional or standard canes. With rubber caps on the four feet, this option is ideal for those affected by stroke, hemiplegia, partial paralysis, or hip or knee surgery.
Bariatric canes: These heavy-duty canes are made of strong metals and alloys which makes them ideal for long-term use and for bearing more weight from heavier users. They are available as quad canes as well as standard canes.
Crutches are a type of walking aid used by individuals who suffer from short-term injuries to lifelong disabilities. Generally used as a pair, crutches improve balance and mobility by removing pressure from the lower limbs and transferring the weight to the upper body to propel using the crutches.
It is essential that crutches be adjusted to fit the height of the user – this can be done with the push of a button. The crutches need to be positioned so that the user can comfortably redistribute pressure from the legs through the crutches via the upper body without excess strain or bruising.
Why Use A Crutch?
If your injury, surgery, or disability requires rehabilitation without putting excess weight on your lower body, you may be prescribed a crutch as a mobility aid. These are some reasons why you may need a crutch:
ACL injury or tear
Achilles’ tendon injury
Broken ankle or foot
Sprained or fractured ankle
Recovery from surgery
Or other leg injuries…
Different Types of Crutches
There are three main types of crutches:
Underarm or axilla crutches: Used by individuals after an injury or surgery, these are often used for shorter periods of time such as a short-term recovery period. These are easier to use for those with limited upper body strength.
Elbow crutches: This model is often preferred by professionals as it causes less strain on the patient and is the most comfortable for mid to long term usage.
Forearm crutches: These are smaller in size and lighter in weight, so are more portable than other models. These are more comfortable and easier to manoeuvre than other crutches, but they require more arm strength than an elbow or underarm crutch.
Considerations When Using Crutches
Crutches can easily get caught on rugs, electrical cords, food spills and more.
Choose clear pathways whether indoors or outdoors.
Arrange your household furniture so you can walk inside your house without any hurdles. Stay away from cluttered areas.
Organise your home accordingly so you can reach your daily essentials with ease.
When you walk do not allow the top of the crutch to touch your armpit – keep your body supported with your hands. Put your weight through your hands instead of the armpit.
Never lean your whole weight on the crutches as that much pressure in one place might cause pain, numbness or tingling.
Safely Using Canes And Crutches
Firstly, choose a cane or crutches that fit you properly – the right height will ensure you can use them comfortably and safely, without causing pain or a trip hazard.
Organize your living space in such a way that all essential items are within your reach, and the area is a safe and tidy environment. Be mindful of slippery surfaces, rugs, pets, and children.
Ensure your cane or crutches are locked in – if adjustable – and stable. Look straight instead of downwards, maintaining the correct balance and posture, and get plenty of supervised practice.
Why Buy Canes And Crutches From RehabPulse?
RehabPulse offers a wide range canes and crutches from leading brands including: