How One Should Use Crutches, Canes, and Walkers

If someone breaks a bone in their leg or foot, has a procedure on their lower leg or knee, suffers from a stroke, then the doctor may recommend using a walking aid while they are healing or recovering. Here, using crutches, a walker, or a cane can help to keep their weight off the injured or weak leg. And an assistance for balance can enable one to perform all the daily activities more safely.

When someone is first learning to use any walking aid, they may wish to have a friend or family member nearby to give them moral support. In the beginning, everything one does may seem more difficult. But just with a few tips and a little practice, most people are able to quickly gain confidence and learn how to use a walking aid safely. You can also help your loved ones by doing following things:

Make Your Home Safer

Even making some minor safety modifications to your home will help to prevent slips and falls while using the walking aid. I have some suggestions for you:

  • Remove throw rugs, food spills, electrical cords, and anything else that may cause one to fall.
  • Arrange furniture such that you have a clear pathway between rooms.
  • Keep stairs clear of boxes, packages, or clutter.
  • Walk only in well-lit rooms, and also consider installing a nightlight along the route between your rooms and the bathroom.
  • In the bathroom, use grab bars, non-slip bath mats, a shower tub seat, and a raised toilet seat.
  • Simplify your household to keep the items that patient needs within easy reach and keep everything else out of the way.
  • Carry things hands-free by using a backpack, an apron with pockets, or fanny bags.

Let us start with knowing more about the most used mobility aids:


If the injury or surgery requires one to get around without putting any weight on their leg or foot, then one may have to use different types of crutches. Elbow crutches are the most used crutches as it holds one’s body firmly and also promotes balance.

Below is the basic method to use crutches for ensuring safety and enabling independence.

Proper Positioning

  • While standing up, the top of your crutches needs to be about 1-2 inches below your armpits.
  • The handgrips of the crutches need to be even with the top of your hip line.
  • The elbows have to be slightly bent while holding the hand grips of elbow crutches.
  • Their weight should rest on their hands, not on the underarm supports. This is to prevent damage to the nerves and blood vessels of the armpit.


A cane can be helpful if someone is having minor problems with balancing or stabilizing the body, has some weakness in their leg or trunk, has an injury, or is in pain. If they are elderly, then using a single point cane may help them to walk more comfortably and safely. In some cases, it may make it easier for one to continue living independently.

By following below positioning method, one can use canes safely:

Proper Positioning

  • While standing up straight, the top of the cane should reach to the crease in their wrist.
  • Their elbow should be slightly bent when they hold the cane.
  • They should hold the cane in the hand opposite the side that needs support. For instance, if they have an injured right leg, then holding the cane in their left hand is the right way.


If someone has had total knee or total hip replacement surgery, or if they have another significant problem, then they may need more help with balance and walking than they can get with crutches or a cane. A pickup walker with four legs can provide them the most stability.

A walker will let you keep all or some of your weight off your lower body while you take steps. With a walker, one can use their arms to support some of their body weight. As one’s strength and endurance gets better, one may gradually be able to carry more weight in their legs. Also, aids like Walking Stick with Seat are available for people having leg mobility issues. Walking Stick with Seat helps one to rest on the seat attached whenever and wherever they want while walking.

Here is the basic method to use walkers safely:

Proper Positioning

  • While standing up straight, the top of the walker should reach the crease in their wrist.
  • They should bend their elbows slightly while holding the handgrips of the walker.
  • Keeping back straight is important. One should not hunch over the walker.
  • Check to be sure if the rubber tips on the walker’s legs are in good shape. If any of them become uneven or worn out, you can purchase new tips easily from a medical supply store.


The elderly often have mobility issues, and walking aids can help them the best. So, with the above description, you can decide which is ideal for your loved ones. And you can also refer to the way that equipment should be used. Do not forget to consult your physician before investing in any equipment.

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