Are you suffering from chronic joint pain or recovering from surgery, and you can't walk without support? Walkers and canes are mobility aids that can help you regain your mobility independence. However, how much support can these mobility aids offer you?
Despite the fact walkers and canes come in simple designs, they provide enormous benefits. Please continue reading below to learn more about canes and walkers and what to consider when purchasing these mobility aids.
Signs You Should Consider A Walker Or Cane
If you experience imbalance when you walk or you tend to hold on to walls, furniture, or benches as you walk, you should consider getting yourself a walker or cane. Some of the situations or signs that might show you it's time to get a mobility device include:
- Strength loss - If you feel you have no strength in your legs due to exhaustion, there are chances of falling when walking. You can eliminate this risk by getting yourself a walker or cane.
- Joint replacement or joint injury - If you have a joint replacement or injury and feel pain when you walk, a walker or cane will help alleviate this pain.
- Instability - If you can't walk steadily due to underlying health conditions or old age, there is a higher risk of falling. A cane or a walker will help to improve stability
- Frequent falls - Regardless of your health, if you experience more than two falls in 3-6 months, it's time you should consider a cane.
- Any kind of pain
Cane Or Walker? Which Should I Get?
Both canes and walkers are basic mobility aids, and you can use either of them depending on your mobility needs. However, knowing which one suits you best can be challenging. It would be best to talk with your physical therapist or other healthcare professionals familiar with your needs to discuss which assistive device to get.
Below are some instances where a cane might suit you best:
- When you have minimal mobility issues
- If you only intend to improve weight-bearing and balance
- When you want a mobility device that you can customise to your height or style
- If you want a compact and lightweight mobility aid you can carry when travelling
- If you only need additional support when walking for a long distance
A walker might suit you best in the following situations:
- When you need full support in weight-bearing
- When your mobility problem is severe
- If you are recovering from an injury or surgery and you need full-time support
Key Considerations And Questions To Ask When Choosing A Cane Or Walker
After figuring out which mobility aid will suit you best, the next step is to decide which type and the fit are best for you. You will need to ask yourself some questions before concluding which walker or cane is best. Don't fret; you won't be making these decisions alone. Your physical therapist or health care provider can help you find the best cane or walker that fits correctly and how to use it properly.
Here's a look at some considerations that you can make when choosing a cane:
- The grip - Most cane grips are rounded, T-shaped, L-shaped, padded, thick, or thin. Choose a grip that is comfortable to you, straight, and offsets on the centre of the shaft.
- Legging - Some canes are multi-legged and others single-legged. Although multiple-legged canes will offer you better stability, they are not compact and lightweight like single-legged ones.
- Construction - Although expensive, aluminium canes are lighter and easily adjustable compared to wooden canes.
- Additional features - If you live in places that experience winter, you should consider buying a cane with a removable pivoting spike to help improve grip. If you live in a warm area, consider buying one with a rubber tip to enhance grip.
Like canes, walkers come with varying designs and features. Below are considerations you should make when choosing one.
- The Grip - Most walker grips feature flexible foam, non-slip rubber, or rigid plastic construction. Choose one that is comfortable for you.
- Legs - The standard walkers feature rubber-tipping on the four legs to improve stability. Without wheels, you will have to pick them. Front-wheeled walkers feature two wheels in front and rubber-legging at the back. When walking, you don't have to pick up these walkers. Four-legged walkers come with four wheels, enhancing movement. Some models feature a seat and break to allow you to put weight comfortably on the walker.
Don't Let Mobility Issues Slow You Down
Whether living with chronic pain, recovering from an injury or surgery, or experiencing mobility issues because of ageing, canes and walkers can help you regain your mobility and maintain your independence.
Get About Mobility has a variety of quality assistive mobility devices that will make your life easier and keep you safe.