Different Types Of Walking Canes

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on February 20, 2012

Walking canes are devices used to help in walking or ambulation. Walking canes widen an individual's support base, and hence assist in improving balance. An individual who uses a walking cane is able to relieve almost 25 percent of the pressure on the leg that is opposite to the hand in which the cane is held. There are many different types of walking canes available in the market today.


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The C cane is the most common type of walking cane. It is a straight cane with a curved handle. It helps in balance and may be used by individuals who require slight assistance with walking.

It only minimally unloads weight from the opposite leg. One can also find many antique walking canes of the C cane variety in many shops. A functional grip cane differs slightly from the C cane due to its handle. Instead of a c-shaped curve, the functional grip cane has a straight grip. This allows the individual to have better control over the cane and hence gives more support. They are usually used by people who are in need of more assistance in balance. Another type of walking cane is the quad cane. These walking canes have a rectangular base made up of four supports that make contact with the ground. It offers considerably more support than the C cane and functional grip cane. The quad cane comes in small and large base canes. It provides a greater level of balance support and is often used by those with paresis or hemiplegia. The hemiwalker is also a type of walking cane with a much larger base. It gives a lot more lateral support and is recommended for people with severe hemiplegia. Those who switch from a walker to a walking cane will also benefit from using a hemiwalker. Adjustable walking canes are also very popular. These canes have holes down the side. There is also a pin which can be slipped into the hole at the appropriate height.

When selecting a walking cane, it is necessary to take into consideration the size of the cane. There should be a 20 degree bend at the elbow in the arm that is holding the cane. Many people opt for custom walking canes which are made according to their specific requirements. It is advisable to consult a doctor or a physical therapist for assistance in selecting a walking cane.

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