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How To Use a Cane

To Use a Cane or Not Use a Cane, That is the Question

How to use a cane properly?  Before we answer that, let's learn a little more about them.  A cane is a medical device that allows for people to walk, go up and down the steps, balance, and just overall function with decreased difficulty and increased confidence. You’ll typically find people using them after total knee replacements, total hip replacements, and after a stroke. But, it is no mystery, at least to a physical therapist that other patients will benefit from as well. As people start to resume their daily activities after quarantine, we have noticed more and more people with significant loss of strength due to being sedentary. Sometimes, these patients will also fall more frequently. A cane would be helpful for these people to walk further until they are able to wean off using it. Canes and other assistive devices are also effective ways to delay knee and hip replacements and preserve an arthritic or injured joint for longer.

How Do You Use a Cane?

There are two standard methods. One is a step-through pattern, and the other is a step-to pattern. A step-through pattern is usually better for patients who are more advanced and has good balance/not much pain. A step-to pattern is better for patients with poorer balance/a lot off pain. You can take a look at the video linked below for a visual demonstration of correct technique.

How Properly Size a Cane

Before you walk in either a step-to or step-through pattern, you need to have the proper height.  Check out this video for proper height.

Check out all the conditions we treat.

Different Types of Canes

There are 3 basic  types: 1. single point, 2. narrow base quad,  3. wide base quad.  The different types are based on the level of support or help a person needs to be stable when moving around.
Single Point
single point cane
Narrow base
narrow base quad cane
Wide base
wide base quad cane
Before: I had a stress fracture in my L2 vertebrae with immense pain. I couldn’t perform in gymnastics like I used too. Now: I have no pain whatsoever and perform how I like. Backwalkovers with no pain! I never thought I’d have no pain again.
- M. DiBona
I am so grateful to you and your staff for the significant improvement I experienced under your supervision. When I first came to you, I was suffering extreme pain in both my shoulders and my hips, and now I can honestly say that I have regained a great deal of strength and flexibility in those areas. I owe it all to your professionalism, guidance, and expertise. Thank you so much for all your kindness.
- Fran R.
I want to thank Paul Vidal for helping me control my vertigo! Because of your treatment I have been able to continue running and was thrilled to be able to run the Broad St. race with my daughter! I can’t thank you enough.
- G. Thompson
Paul is great. He takes good care of our patients. The patients love him! I have sent several family members to him.
- Samir Shah, M.D., F.A.C.S.
11 Cadillac Road
Burlington, NJ 08016
P: 609-880-0880
1919 Greentree Road, Suite B
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
P: 856-424-0993
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