Gone are the days when the grandchildren used to play the role of the walking stick of their grandparents. Due to the trend of the nuclear families, ambitious youth, deep-rooted-seniors, and fault-in-our-diets, walking sticks or canes have become an absolute necessity for the older chaps.
In this article, we are going to give you a brief detail about the main types of canes available in the market including their advantages and disadvantages. We are also going to tell you the main things to consider while buying and using the cane!
Types of Canes available:
1. Simple Walking Canes/Sticks
These are the oldest version of the sticks that we have always seen with some elderly villagers or the old Hindi film villains used to carry them (to increase the impact). Many people still prefer to take these oldies with pride. Some of the pros and cons of them are as follows:
- Provide support while walking
- Takes the load off the joints thus helping in muscle relaxation and relieving pain.
- It is not very stable.
- Chances of getting slipped are more than the other sticks.
Improvement If you have one:
Consider adding a rubber ferrule at its lower end so that it grips the floor better thus reducing the chances of slipping.
2. Tripod Sticks
As the name suggests, Tri means three, this stick has three legs. (As shown in the pic below). This makes it look like a little weird though, but this is one of the best and the most popular design as people are always happy with these sticks.
Some pros and cons of this three-legged crab are:
- Provides a good base of support thus it has increased stability.
- Helps to reduce the load from the joints, thus provides muscle relaxation and pain improvement.
- Chances of slipping are almost nil (unless you are walking in a butter-factory.)
- Fits averagely sized stairs as well.
- Adjustable height of the hand grip.
- Looks a bit weird, nothing else that we could find.
3. Quadripod Sticks
The quadripod sticks as suggested by the prefix Quad has four legs in it. (as shown in the figure). They are on a higher level than the tripods in weirdos race.
- Same as tripods but it has more stability than the tripods because of the wider Base of Support.
- Good for early rehabilitation period.
- It doesn’t fit stairs. We would suggest you not to climb stairs while using this, as it’s wider area doesn’t fit stairs and thus makes it more accident prone.
So, that was all about the most-commonly used sticks.
Now let’s take a look at a few points which we should consider while buying and using walking sticks:
Check the rubber ferrules on the stick, these are the small rubbery materials which are attached at the lower end of the cane or stick, it has to be firm and in good condition. The rubber ferrules provide better grip and prevent slipping.
2. The height of the stick should be at the level of your hip, slightly lower, as shown in the picture. (at greater trochanter).
3. You should take the stick in the opposite hand of the injured or aching leg, for example, If your right hip has pain then keep the stick in the left hand. (You can handle it more easily then.)
4. While climbing stairs, remember the rule, ascend with your good leg first and while descending keep your bad or ailing leg first.
- Keep the cane on the opposite side of the handrail.
- Ascend with your good leg first, followed by the cane, then your bad or weaker leg.
- While descending stairs, put your cane first, then your weaker leg and your good leg in the end.
5. You can remember this like ‘Go up with good, and down with bad’.
So this was all about the canes, we have tried our level best to include all the important points in a small article, but if you have any doubts or queries, then please feel free to ask in the comment section below.
We would love to answer. Till then
“Take good care of your Grandparents and also their walking-sticks!”
Note: The remedies or exercises provided in this article are not a replacement for a medical advice. Please consult a healthcare professional before following the solutions.