Living With Polio
Are you afraid to be in crowds because you may fall if someone bumps you? Does your “good” leg hurt because it holds most of our weight? Try a cane. Here are a few tips on selecting and using a cane, which you can make yourself or purchase at a local drug store/medical supply store. Some insurance plans will cover the cost of a cane.
WHAT IS THE PROPER LENGTH OF A CANE?
You should be fitted for your cane in your walking shoes. The general guideline for adjusting or cutting the length is that your elbow should be at a comfortable 20-30 degree angle with the cane in your hand. Or, with your arm hanging straight down at your side, the top of your cane should come up to the crease in your wrist.
WHICH HAND DO I CARRY THE CANE IN WHEN I WALK?
Generally, a cane is carried in the hand opposite the weakened or painful leg. This position widens your base of support, giving you greater stability, and should help you to walk more naturally and be less tiring. However, if the opposite arm is also weak or painful, you may need to use the cane with the same-sided hand.