How to Use a Cane

Using a cane or other assistive devices can help in relieving/decreasing pain, adding stability and easing the pull of certain muscles.

Here are a few helpful tips on how to use a cane:

  • Walking: The assistive device should be used on the opposite side of the affected limb. If used for balance, pick a side that's most comfortable. Move the cane and affected limb at the same time. Stand tall with good posture and look ahead, not down at your feet.

  • Proper fit: The length of the cane should be adjusted so that the top of the cane should line up with the wrist joint when standing straight with the arm completely relaxed at your side.

  • Going up Stairs: Up with the "GOOD". Step with the unaffected limb first. Then move the cane and affected limb up to the step together.

  • Going down Stairs: Down with the "BAD". Step down with the affected limb and the cane together. Bring unaffected limb down to the same step. When negotiating stairs, it's always safer to use a railing with the free hand whenever possible.