Canes Walking Aids
Nursing Mnemonics





CANES

You may find it helpful to use a canes walking aids if you have a small problem with balance or instability, some weakness in your leg or trunk, an injury, or pain. If you are elderly, a single point cane may also help you to keep living independently.

Proper Positioning

The top of your cane should reach to the crease in your wrist when you stand up straight. Your elbow should bend a bit when you hold your cane. Hold the cane in the hand opposite the side that needs support.

Walking

When you walk, the cane and your injured leg swing and strike the ground at the same time. To start, position your cane about one small stride ahead and step off on your injured leg. Finish the step with your normal leg.

Canes Walking Aids in Stairs

To climb stairs, grasp the handrail (if possible) and step up on your good leg first, with your cane in the hand opposite the injured leg. Then step up on the injured leg. To come down stairs, put your cane on the step first, then your injured leg, and finally the good leg, which carries your body weight.



WALKERS

If you have had total knee or hip joint replacement surgery, or you have another significant problem, you may need more help with balance and walking than you can get with crutches or a cane. A pickup walker with four solid prongs on the bottom may give you the most stability. The walker lets you keep all or some of your weight off of your lower body as you takes your steps. You use your arms to support some of the weight. The top of your walker should match the crease in your wrist when you stand up straight. Do not hurry when you use a walker. As your strength and endurance get better, you may gradually be able to carry more weight in your legs.

Walking

First, put your walker about one step ahead of you, making sure the legs of your walker are level to the ground. With both hands, grip the top of the walker for support and walk into it, stepping off on your injured leg. Touch the heel of this foot to the ground first, then flatten the foot and finally lift the toes off the ground as you complete your step with your good leg. Don't step all the way to the front bar of your walker. Take small steps when you turn.

Sitting

To sit, back up until your legs touch the chair. Reach back to feel the seat before you sit. To get up from a chair, push yourself up and grasp the walker's grips. Make sure the rubber tips on your walker's legs stay in good shape.

Stairs

Never try to climb stairs or use an escalator with your walker.

SOURCE: Your Orthopedic Connection



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