As we age, it is more and more likely that we will need assistance while walking. Increasing age increases the risk of injury, possibly hip or knee surgeries or general weakness of the limbs.
When this happens, we are either forced to rely on others for our mobility or we can choose to employ certain devices that are made to assist in our mobility. These assists give more freedom to the user by allowing them to live independently longer.
Mobility assists come in many shapes and forms; walkers, rollators, canes, and even double canes. One of these products is called a quad cane. There are many benefits to using a quad cane; but unless you know how to adjust a quad cane, you may find yourself dealing with a lot of discomfort.
What is a Quad Cane?
A quad cane is similar to a regular cane, except the part that touches the ground does not have a single base. Instead, it has a metal base that spreads into a “K” shape giving it four legs.
Each of these legs is fitted with a rubber cap that helps with stability and slippage. The cane is regularly made of aluminum, making it very lightweight but sturdy.
Using a Quad Cane
A quad cane is used to improve user stability, so it is important to know how to use it; otherwise, it defeats the purpose. Quad canes are easier to use than walkers as they can be used on staircases.
Additionally, they are easier to use than regular canes because if you release the handle, they won’t fall over. They are also adjustable, which wooden canes are not.
Their usage is similar to canes; use them on the opposite side of the leg that is either injured or needs extra support. Take steps forward by using the cane as a support system, not as a crutch. If you rely on the cane completely, you won’t be putting any pressure on your weaker leg, in turn never giving yourself the incentive to strengthen it.
If you are using a quad cane, and are wondering when and how to adjust it to fit you more comfortably, keep reading.
When to Adjust a Quad Cane
Quad canes are meant to improve your stability and make walking more comfortable. If at any time you are feeling discomfort caused by your cane, it might need adjusting.
How to Adjust a Quad Cane
To start the adjusting process, you need to find the ideal height your quad needs to be adjusted to. You need to adjust the height with your shoes on to account for any height they might be adding.
Start by standing straight with the cane next to your body on the opposite side of your weaker leg. Turn the cane, so the flat side of the “K” is facing your body.
Hold the handle of the cane. The handle should be roughly as high as your hip bone. While you are holding the cane, your elbow should be bent about 20 degrees.
There are two different ways you can do this. First, you can visit your doctor and they can use a goniometer to determine the correct position. If not, then you can let your arms loose by the side, have the cane next to your body, and see that the top of the cane is touching the crease of your wrist. This is a good guide to have in mind for adjusting the cane height.
To adjust the height of the quad cane, push the button on the cane to loosen its grip, and then slide the loosened part up or down until it clicks into the correct height position. Sometimes, quad canes feature a rattle knob at the base of the cane. They need to be loosened before pushing the button and re-tightened after the button has clicked into place.
If you need to switch the direction of the “K” shaped base, in case you need to use it on the other side of the body (keep in mind the flat side of the “K” needs to face the body of the user), there is a lever to do that. Push the lever and rotate the base. Once it is in place, put it next to your body and make sure the height is not affected.
What happens if You Do it Wrong?
If you don’t adjust your quad cane, or you do it incorrectly, it could have an opposite effect of harming the body. A quad that is too tall won’t provide support for you while you are walking, becoming a useless accessory, while one that is too short can cause back pain because it forces you to bend over more than you need to.
We want you to be as free as possible to move around independent of assistance. May you enjoy comfort with the freedom of your quad cane.