Starting to feel unsteady while walking down the street? Are you recovering from surgery and need extra support while walking? Do you want to feel safer and more comfortable? You may need a cane or walker. Here at The Compounding Center of Leesburg we can help you pick out the device you need.
Do I Need a Cane or a Walker?
If you are having weakness or pain on only one side of the body, you might need a cane. However, if you are unsteady on both feet or have poor balance, a walker might be a better option. While we are happy to help you decide on a cane or walker, it might be beneficial to speak with your doctor or a physical therapist so that they can evaluate your strength, fitness, and overall balance and recommend a product that is right for you. Once you and your doctor come to a decision on the type of device, we can help fit the device to your specifications.
What’s the Right Size for a Cane or Walker?
When getting fitted for your cane or walker, wear your normal shoes so that we can fit the device to you personally. We will measure from your freely hanging wrist to the floor. This is where the top of your cane or walker should reach. When you place your hands on your cane or walker you should notice a slight bend of the elbow. We can even assist you in personalizing your walker or cane with styles, colors and even a fancy carrying pouch or cup holder!
Correct Use of a Cane
When walking with a cane, it is important to place the cane in the hand opposite your injured, painful, or weak leg. While putting all of your weight on your good leg, move the cane and bad leg at the same time forward. Make sure not to take too big a step or place your cane too far ahead of you because it could slip forward, which could cause a fall. Then with your weight supported on both your cane and weaker leg, step forward with your uninjured leg.
Correct Use of a Walker
There are many types of walkers, those with no wheels, those with two wheels in the front and those with four wheels, seat and a basket. If your walker is one with no wheels you will need to lift and place the walker in front of you, if it has wheels, you simply roll it forward – note to only move a small distance at a time so the walker is not too far forward that it will not be able to support you while you move forward. When using a walker you want to move your affected leg first. Then step forward with your other leg, placing it in front of the affected leg. It is important to look ahead of you while walking, not down at your feet so that you don’t run into anything.
At first, it may seem awkward trying to coordinate your steps with the walker or cane. Don’t worry, after a little practice you’ll be a pro in no time!