A cane is a mobility aid that has a long leg and a handle. Medical providers recommend canes for individuals who need extra support due to weakness in one leg. Canes improve balance and stabilize the body while you walk. The cane is carried in the hand opposite the weaker leg. When you walk, you swing the cane and your weak leg forward at the same time. Then, you step past the cane with the other leg and repeat. If you're unsure whether a cane is the right mobility aid for your needs, consult your medical provider.
The first thing to consider when shopping for a cane is whether you prefer a one or four point model. A single point cane is lightweight and compact, making it easy to travel with and simple to move. Four-prong canes are weightier and larger, but provide more stability for users.
Another thing to consider when shopping for a cane is the handle type. Traditional canes have a curved or straight handle that is positioned at the top of a straight shaft. This type of cane comes in a wide range of colors and designs to suit the preferences of users. Offset canes have a U-shaped curve at the top and a straight handle. With this design, the canes can support more body weight.
Some canes have special features that may be beneficial to you. Folding canes are hinged, allowing them to fold up to a compact size for easy transport. A wrist strap makes it possible to secure a cane to your arm for more security while you walk. Gel grips on cane handles provide a cushioned surface that is comfortable to hold onto. Bariatric canes are designed to support more weight than conventional canes, often having weight limits of 300 to 350 pounds or more.