Walking cane: types, description and selection rules
Everyone can face the need for additional walking aids. This may be necessary after trauma of the lower extremities, with joint diseases, disruption of coordination of movements. In mild cases of such pathologies, when the person retains walking functions, but needs support, a support cane is used. Previously, such a device was more common. The cane was a symbol of prestige and respectability, but now with a stick you can meet mostly old people or disabled people.
The support stick serves as support for the vertical position of a person with a violation of the functions of one of the lower limbs. It helps to avoid falling and injuries while walking. Unlike crutches, the cane does not relieve the load from the limbs completely. The main function of such an orthopedic device is to provide the patient with comfortable movement after operations or injuries, as well as for violation of walking functions for other reasons. The cane in this case becomes an additional support, allowing you to transfer part of the body weight from the diseased leg.
In addition, such devices are used by the visually impaired. They avoid falling and injuries, as they are designed to feel the road ahead of you. These canes are usually white, which makes it possible for the driver of the car to see from afar a disabled person on the road. In addition, in a separate group can be attributed male supporting canes. Although now they are not so common, but it was fashionable to go with such a device even to healthy young people.
support cane is used This orthopedic device is designed to redistribute the load in various pathologies of one limb, as well as to maintain equilibrium. The canes are used for walking by elderly people, people with disabilities. With various injuries during the recovery period, they are recommended after crutches.
Indications for the application of the support cane are the following:
- rehabilitation period after fracture of the bones or dislocation of the leg joints;
- arthrosis, arthritis, lower limb osteoporosis;
- impaired coordination of movements in various vascular or neurological pathologies;
- in the elderly with general weakness and impaired limb function;
- after a stroke;
- to people with poor eyesight;
- to prevent falling when walking in icy conditions or on slippery surfaces.
canes Now you can find many orthopedic appliances for walking support.
- The most common are ordinary wooden sticks. They have a straight form, a T-handle and a plastic or rubber tip. Most often they are chosen by older people, since they are the cheapest.
- Adjustable walking stick is very convenient in case you need to use it for a long time. After all, the height of this device should be selected taking into account the height of the heels. In winter and in summer, the sole of shoes is usually different.
- Telescopic canes or foldable fit for more active patients. For example, if you have to travel often in a car, public transport. They are easy to fold and hide in a bag.
- Canes with three or four legs are more stable and well suited for people with obesity or limb functions.
- The male support cane can differ from the rest with a bizarre shape, a beautiful curved handle. Such products are often not designed to support the body, but are used as a symbol of respectability. They are usually heavier, their weight can reach 700 grams.
How to choose the right
Like any orthopedic device, the support cane needs to be selected individually. There are several criteria for choosing a walking cane. If they are not observed, they will not be able to protect the person from injuries, besides, they can cause additional problems.
- First of all, the cane should be adjusted to the height. Only then can it fulfill its functions. If the cane is higher than necessary, a large load will fall on the hand, and with a very low position the person will have to hump.
- An important criterion is also the strength of the material. Earlier, wooden canes were more popular, but for some patients they are considered heavy. You can then choose a wand of aluminum, it is light and strong.
- The shape of the handle should be comfortable so that there is no fatigue of the hand.
- It is very important that the weight of the cane does not cause additional problems. Usually it weighs from 100 to 400 grams. Support cane for women should be easier so that the hand does not get tired.
- For many patients, the choice of the cane is also determined by its appearance. This especially applies to young people who need to use this device after an injury.
The height of the
cane The main criterion for choosing a cane should be its length. It's difficult to pick it up without that person who will walk with it. The height of the supporting cane depends not only on the height of the person. It is important to take into account the length of his arms, as well as whether he is hunched when walking.
When choosing a cane, you need to try it on. A person should become near her, bend his arm 15-20 degrees in the elbow. In this case, the wrist should lie flat on the handle. If, in order to lean on a cane, a person has to bend down, which means that it is very low. In this case, it will not perform its functions, creating additional stress on the wrist and spine. Too high a cane makes a man bend, raising his hand, which is also uncomfortable.
What should be the handle of the
Its shape is an important criterion for choosing this device. And it's not just about beauty, because the hilt used to be a decoration for a cane, often a work of art. But now it is more important that it is comfortable. If the pen is not selected correctly, pain in the wrist and wrist joint can occur.
It is best to choose a cane with an anatomical handle that repeats the contours of the palm. For someone more convenient will be a large handle, three-dimensional, other people are more comfortable to lean, if it is small. The main thing is that the brush on it is located freely. The shape of the arms can be different. In addition to the most common, they can be in the form of a swan neck, beak or hook.
The material from which the handle is made is also important. It should not cause allergies, glide. It is best that the material is pleasant to the touch. Most often the stick of the canes is made of medical plastic, sometimes of wood.
Supporting surface of the
cane Most often these devices have the shape of an even stick. But below it is necessary the tip, which increases the strength of the cane and its stability. The shape and material of the tip should be chosen depending on the purposes and time of use of the cane. The most common are the tips of plastic or strong rubber. They do not slip, they're light. To walk in the ice, you need to choose a cane with a sharp tip.
People with impaired walking, overweight, and also after operations and injuries are recommended such devices with an increased number of legs. They can be 3 or 4. This does not make the cane heavier, but it makes it more stable. In addition, the tip can have a square or pyramidal shape.
How to check the cane when buying
To make this device function properly, you need to buy it in the presence of the person who will use it. This is necessary so that he can "try on" the cane, try to be like her. How to choose the right cane:
- a person should be in the shoes in which he often walks;
- if the cane will be used for a long time, and in winter and summer shoes the patient has heels of different heights, it is advisable to purchase two canes;
- when selecting you need to focus on the purpose of using this device;
- it is important to pay attention to the tip - for people with severely impaired walking functions it is better to choose a more stable one, for example, cherry-resistant one;
- cane should be tried on: the patient should become the way he usually walks, bend his arm slightly at the elbow, and the hand should lie comfortably on the handle of the cane standing directly on the floor.
Canes for the elderly
Many elderly people can not move normally because of muscle weakness and various diseases of the musculoskeletal system. They will help maintain balance and avoid falling cane. Since such a device is used in this case constantly, it needs to be chosen more carefully.
It is best to purchase a cane for the elderly with a anti-slip device and a comfortable grip. She should like the old man, although most often they prefer the usual wooden models. You should also pay attention to the tip. It should not slide on any surface, if it is rubber, then it should not leave marks on the floor.
Canes for the disabled
These are the so-called tactile canes. They are not designed to support, but to facilitate spatial orientation to patients with loss of vision. They are mainly made of aluminum, since their peculiarity is that the invalid constantly keeps her on weight, feeling the way and different things. Such a cane necessarily has a loop on the wrist to prevent the loss of the device.
The special feature of the walking sticks for the visually impaired is their color. Usually they are white, noticeable from afar. In addition, the tip of it can be of different shapes. In addition to the usual cylindrical or in the form of a pencil, it can be spinning, in the form of a small or large ball.
How to walk with a cane
It is not enough to choose such a device correctly, you still need to learn how to walk with it. There are some rules that will help you get used to the canes:
- move carefully, always look under your feet, especially if on the floor carpets, unevenness or stairs;
- try not to walk on the wet floor even with a cane;
- when moving on the stairs with one hand, you must always hold on to the railing;
- shoes should be worn comfortable, on a small heel, and best of all - on a flat sole;
- when moving the walking stick should be kept not near the patient leg, but on the opposite side;
- the stick moves simultaneously with the sore leg.
Comfortably walk with a cane you need to learn. But with the right choice, it helps maintain balance and protects against falling. This is a real salvation for people with pathology of the musculoskeletal system.