How to Use Two Canes to Walk

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If you have leg injuries, have had a recent surgery or have general weakness in your legs, your doctor could recommend you use two canes to walk. Canes aid with balance and stability; using them makes walking a more comfortable safer experience. Don’t underestimate what a cane can do for you, because in many cases it gives seniors continued independence allowing them to live without supervision or help.    

If you are going to start using two canes to walk, here is a simple guide to give you an understanding of how to use two canes to walk. With this information, you will be on your way to living a life with more freedom, less pain, and less discomfort.

When to Use Two Canes

Doctors often recommend two canes to persons who have experienced problems with balance and or dizziness. Many elderly people have developed weakness in their legs. Using canes help take some of the load off while improving mobility.

Walking with two canes helps you keep your back straight, improving your posture and balance. By standing up straighter, your center of balance will be better, making your complaints about dizziness a thing of the past. Walking with two canes offers support on each side of your body, resulting in relief from pain in your knees and back.

Here is a guide to help you get started using two canes until your experience with them is a familiar and comfortable process.

Before Using the Canes

When deciding to use two canes to walk, first be sure to choose canes that are right for you. If you plan to use them more often than not, your best plan is to find canes with adjustable height and ergonomic grips. This keeps complaints of back and hand pain at bay making your search well worth the time it takes.

Please asses your upper body strength before you purchase your canes. If you have weak upper body strength you will not be able to support your weight when using canes.  Since the goal is to maintain your independence, we recommend light exercise (even household chores) that will help you prepare your upper body to assist your legs.    

How to Position Yourself

Start by adjusting the height of your canes to a comfortable height for you. An incorrect height can result in unnecessary fatigue.

The ideal height of your canes is roughly half of your height.  With your arms at your sides, bend your elbow to a 20-degree angle so your hand is extended forward.  The height of your cane grip should meet your palm while your arm is at this angle.

 Keep in mind, on different leveled ground, you may want to adjust your cane height. For example, on upward sloping ground, it is better to keep your canes shorter, while keeping them longer when walking downhill. This gives you more support and control while walking.

Image of a woman with a cane teaching a man to walk with a cane.
Learning to walk with a cane

How to Start Walking

There are two ways you can use two canes to walk. First: using the canes like extensions of your arms.

Imagine yourself walking with your arms swinging by your sides. Your Right arm and left foot move simultaneously while your left arm and right foot move together.

 Just like that, place the cane in your left hand forward when your right leg is forward, and vice-versa. This may sound complicated, but it as easy as walking without anything in your hands. You are mimicking your natural movements but using the extra support of canes.

The second way to use two canes is very much like using crutches. This isn’t the most common way of using two canes, but it can be a bit of a relief if you have been walking for a long time.

Place the base of the canes down roughly a foot in front of you, lean into them slightly, and walk the short distance till they are by your sides. Continue like this until you are ready to go back to using your canes the regular way.

Tips

  • Keep switching your handgrip position on your cane to avoid fatigue.
  • Switch the leg you are leaning on the most after every few moments to avoid straining it.
  • Exercise your upper body with simple workouts or even household chores to keep your upper body strength.
  • Don’t expect to go straight from a walker to two canes; canes require more upper body strength but result in a higher level of mobility.

We trust this article has provided the information you need to keep you and you loved safe and independent. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

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It had finally arrived. We were moved into a small retirement community. After the pain in my hips subsided, and my body revived from proper rest, I was faced with assessing my future. Not old enough to retire and not willing to give up my freedom I embarked on this new adventure: Helping Seniors. After all, I could learn a lot by helping this new age group I belonged to. Thus “Sensible Senior Living” was founded. It is my desire to help others enjoy those “golden years” we are now living in. Enjoy the site and most of all enjoy each and every day you have. In each of you is wisdom, insight and vitality that others can benefit from. You are no less valuable, you’re simply limited in your physical ability to administer that value. Do what you can, be who you are, know your limitations. and live on.

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