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A cane is used for balance or when you can take most or all of your weight through your weaker (sore) leg.
If you’re using an adjustable cane, unscrew the locking ring (if there is one). Then push in the button, sliding the tubing in or out to reach the best position for you. Make sure the push button has fully snapped into the hole and tighten the locking ring (if there is one) after adjusting.
Note: A wooden cane has to be cut with a saw to the right length. Make sure the rubber tip is securely put back on the end of the wooden cane.
Repeat these steps. Remember to use good posture—straight back and tummy muscles in.
Move the cane forward —Move your weaker leg forward—Move the stronger leg forward.
Walk as instructed above.
Note: If possible, don’t use an unstable or very low chair.
If there’s a safe handrail on the steps, use it. The cane will then go in the other hand.
Going Up Stairs
Climb one step at a time using this pattern.
Going Down Stairs
Go down one step at a time using this pattern.
If you’re using a cane after leg surgery your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can stop using it.
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=custom.ab_physio_cane_inst.
Physiotherapy: How to use a cane
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: Oct 21, 2020
Author: Allied Health (Physiotherapy), Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.