What are the different types of walking canes?

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Starting to walk with a walking cane can mean a big change in life style for some people. Using a cane to walk can give one independence and reduce one’s reliance on other people for support. If you have wondered what are the different types of walking canes available, we have the answer for you.

Choosing the right walking cane

Whatever you end up choosing from the different types of walking canes available, it is important that the cane fits your needs. Please keep the following in mind when choosing a walking cane. Read this article if you want to know more about how to properly balance with a walking cane.

Get a Cane with Proper Height

Before you begin walking with a walking cane, make sure that you have the right cane length for your height. This can be the single most important part of starting to walk with a cane.

To determine the right cane length, while wearing regular shoes, hold your arms at your side with a natural bend in your elbows (about 15 degrees). Have a helper measure the distance from the floor to the area right around your hands. This is the length that you should look for when shopping for a cane. While you can be exact in your measurements, most modern metal and plastic canes can be adjusted to your ideal height as necessary, meaning that many times you should look for a cane within a length range, instead of at the exact measured length.

Select the proper grip

Another important aspect about choosing the right walking cane is selecting from among the different types of grips. Foam or gel grips are softer and more comfortable for long periods of usage. You can even have the walking cane’s grip customized to your hand. If you are suffering from arthritis that causes pain while gripping your walking cane, a larger grip might be better for you. The right grip will reduce the stress in your hand and arm. These are the parts of the body that will be taking increased weight along with your walking cane. Please discuss the correct grip with your healthcare practitioner.

What are the different kinds of awlking canes - different grips
So, what are the different types of walking canes?

Walking canes can come in a variety of types, colors, and specializations. They can range from mobility-based canes to stylistic canes such as those with a decorative skull or birds on the handle to outdoors canes, such as climbing and hiking canes. Let us see that what different types of walking canes can you choose from.

Crookneck Cane

The most common form of walking cane design is the crookneck cane. Known as a classic walking cane, the crookneck cane features a hooked handle for the head, making it easy to drape over the arm when not in use. Crookneck canes are perfect for people who use their cane on often. They can even be useful for closing doors, opening drawers, pulling a bad comedian off the stage (ok, we are joking here :) ), and anything else that can be done or grabbed with a hooked end. While not the most comfortable of grip styles, the crookneck cane is the most commonly form of cane and is a good starting cane for anyone looking for a little added support.

Derby Handle Walking Cane

The derby handle walking cane is a cane with a simple handle that is easier on your hand and wrist while walking long distances with your cane. Derby handled canes come in a wide variety of materials, from plastic and wood to more durable metal designs. Derby cane heads often come with the option to customize the size and weight of the cane handle, allowing you to control how large or small your cane head is. The derby handle cane is much more comfortable than the crookneck style of cane for use over long distances. Its slightly curved back end of the handle also allows for some of the same miscellaneous uses offered by the crookneck version, including pulling a bad comedian off the stage :)

Offset Handle Walking Cane

An offset handle walking cane’s handle is offset from the main shaft. This makes sure that when you grip the cane, your weight is aligned directly to the shaft and goes straight to the rubber end of the walking stick. Like other walking sticks, these can have comfort grip handles. Some even come with gel strips to alleviate the pressure that comes with constant holding of a walking stick.

Palm Anatomical Handle Walking Cane

Palm anatomical handle walking canes are specially designed for individuals with arthritis or other hand issues that may find gripping a curved or knobby cane difficult or impossible. Palm anatomical handle walking canes are often padded and are useful for people who find using a normal cane too stressful on the arm or wrist. They come in both left and right hand versions to provide the most comfort possible. The handle itself can oftentimes be made out a wide range of comfortable fabrics and materials, giving one the option of choosing what is the most comfortable. Many palm anatomical handle walking canes come in a light weight design to make it easier for them to be used over long distances or for extended periods of time. The main downside to the palm anatomical handle walking canes are that they cannot be switched from one hand to the other easily, as they are specially crafted for one hand.

Knob Handle Walking Cane

Canes with knob handles are most often used for aesthetic purposes. They can be slightly harder to grip than a curved cane. They can at best be used to provide a bit of additional balance. Knob handle canes usually have a wider design than a traditional cane. Knob handles are often designed to look similar in shape to a doorknob. They are mostly geared towards being a fashion cane that is outfitted to look like a gem or other decorative item.

Collapsible Walking Cane

The final walking cane design we will discuss is the collapsible or foldable walking cane. While collapsible canes are most often designed for outdoors activities such as hiking, many forms of assistive canes now come in collapsible or telescoping designs. This makes them easier than ever to transport and adjust to the most comfortable height for their user. Telescoping canes are usually made of a lightweight metallic material or a light but durable plastic, and usually come in a wide range of grip options to meet the user’s specific needs.

Walking Cane with Seat

Yes, walking canes can also come with a seat! These Walking canes will give you a quick and easy option to sit for a while and rest when you are out walking. The seat can even be padded for increased comfort. When walking you can easily fold these canes to carry. They are good for people who might need frequent rest when out walking.

Here is a humorous and informative YouTube video on the proper way to walk with a cane:

While you may be hesitant to invest in a cane, a cane can help you walk easier, painlessly, and with more confidence than ever before. With a wide range of styles, designs, and uses, canes are a crucial walking aid for people looking to take some of the pressure off of themselves while out and about. We hope that with this article we have been able to answer your question about what are the different types of walking canes.

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, is an engineer by training. He also holds the degree of PGDCM from the prestigious IIM Calcutta. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents. He is a wellness aficionado and loves keeping and staying healthy.

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