How to Walk with a Cane

man walking with a cane

Canes are primarily used because they provide balance, broaden your base of support for stability, and decrease weight-bearing pressure on your dysfunctional knees, hips, or legs. Hence, a cane is an important tool for those who are less mobile, such as people recovering from injuries or dealing with chronic pain. If you are having difficulty with walking in general due to any issues such as lower extremity weakness/spasticity i.e., limited mobility, then this article is just the right one for you!

How to Use a Cane

Following are some tips that can help someone safely start using a cane:

  1. Hold the cane in your hand that is opposite to the side that needs assistance
  2. Hold your cane to the side and about two inches forward
  3. Place your cane forward at the same time you move forward your injured leg
  4. Place the cane in front of you as your uninjured leg moves forward to take a step

The best way to use a cane is by having another person by your side. If you're just beginning, ask someone for help and make sure they stay close in case you need support or stability when first using it. 

How to Use a Cane on the Staircase

When you use your cane to navigate through the stairs or a curb, it is important that you take extra care to avoid tripping or falling.

  1. Make sure to grab onto the handrail for added support
  2. The easiest way to go upstairs is by stepping up with the unaffected leg
  3. Move forward, at the same time, with your affected leg and cane
  4. When stepping down the staircase with a cane, make sure you put it on the next step
  5. Then, take your affected leg onto the step, followed by your unaffected leg

How to Use a Cane after Knee Surgery

Rehabilitation for knee surgery is a process that can take weeks, months, or even years. But, don’t get worried because if you make sure to stay active by using the aids that your doctor has prescribed, such as a cane, then you can get back on track!

However, you would need to work out on a regular basis in order to develop the strength, stability, and balance necessary for daily tasks. Your physical therapist will teach you how to go about doing your normal routine tasks such as getting up from your bed or going to the restroom with the help of a cane so that you don’t need any other assistance.

What to Look for in a Cane

Cane selection is an important part of your recovery process. You should select a cane that fits properly and is comfortable so you can get support where it’s needed. Take into account the strength, stability, and fitness level as well.

Choosing the right cane is essential to keep your joints healthy. Foam grips and grip shape for your hand can reduce stress on those areas. If you have arthritis or joint pain, it might be better to use a larger handle with curves/round edges which will make gripping less strenuous. This will prevent stress on these sensitive parts in order to avoid future problems like numbness or even painful hands. 

You can also consider a seat cane if you want. A seat cane is a convenient way to take breaks while you are out for an extended walk. It has a small seat attached so that you can stop and sit without having to stand up. 

Also, we recommend that you talk with your doctor or physical therapist about their recommendation based on the kind of injury or health issue. They may also teach you how to use them correctly in order to give yourself better balance and stability.


Learning how to make proper use of a cane is important because it can significantly speed up the healing process if you're recovering from an injury. If you find that using one isn't enough, don't be embarrassed to ask for either a walker or crutches until you are more stable on your feet again!

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