If you are injured, have a permanent disability or are finding it more difficult to move freely on your own due to stiffness or weakness, utilizing crutches or a cane can help you to maintain your mobility. These mobility aids help to provide support while you walk, so that you can move more easily on your own with less risk of falling. Walgreens has a variety of canes and crutches available to help you remain mobile and independent.
Types of Canes
Canes are mobility aids that are intended to help you maintain your balance and improve your stability as you walk and are a good option for those with at least one strong leg who simply need a little extra support. You can purchase a cane that is a simple elongated shaft with a handle and a single tip or a cane that has multiple tips or prongs at the bottom. The bottoms of canes aren't the only way in which these assistive devices can differ from one another. Canes can have many different types of handles from simple bars to hooks to unique ergonomic designs. You'll need to take the strength of your grip into consideration when selecting the right handle type for your needs.
Using a Cane Safely
In order to use a cane safely, you'll need one that is the right height for your needs. To determine what height you require, measure the distance from your wrist to the floor. When you're holding the cane, be sure to keep your elbow slightly bent and to hold onto it with the hand opposite your weaker side. Swing the cane when you step with your weaker leg to stabilize you as you move and keep the cane firmly against the ground when you move your stronger leg. It will take practice to use the cane correctly so be patient and move slowly at first.
Sizing Crutches Correctly
Crutches are another type of assistive aid for walking and are used when you must keep one leg still or reduce the weight that one legs bears. In order to use crutches, you'll need to have strength in your upper body and arms. The tops of crutches should always rest around 1 inch below the armpit, and the handles should be around your hips. Many types of crutches are adjustable, so that you can fine-tune their length to suit the shape of your body.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning to use crutches or a cane. Your physician can tell you whether or not these assistive aids are likely to benefit you and if you can utilize them safely based on your body strength and other factors. He or she can also provide you with advice as to which type of canes or crutches are most likely to be beneficial for you. There are many different ways to walk with crutches, making it important that you receive instructions from your doctor about how you should use them to ensure your safety while staying mobile.