This blog post will explore how to use a cane with a bad knee and avoid developing bad habits.
Whether your knee, foot, or hip is bothering you, using a cane is actually very simple. If you’ve looked at any of my other blog posts on the subject, this one is probably going to be very similar to those.
Use The Cane In The Opposite Hand As Your Bad Knee
Basically the bottom line is this is that when you’re using a cane whether it’s a standard, or, some call it a straight cane, or if its a quad cane or something like that, you’ll want to use it in the opposite hand of your bad knee/leg.
The reason for that is this is that when we’re typically walking, your pelvic girdle rotates to the left, your shoulder girdle rotates to the right. This is seen when you take a step with one leg, the opposite hand goes forward at the same time.
Then, when the other leg steps forward, it’s opposite hand goes forward as well. This alternating motion is part of what we call a “normal gait cycle”. This gait pattern is essential for balance and efficient movement.
Maintain Your Normal Gait Cycle
When you are using a cane for a sore leg or what have you, its important that you maintain that normal gait cycle. When you have a bad knee knee what you want is for the cane to go out at the same time that you take a step with the bad leg. this will give your sore leg support while at the same time maintaining the normal gait cycle.
For example, if your left knee is the bad knee and unstable when you stand on it. If you’re walking and when that foot hits the ground you run the risk of the knee buckling and you falling to the ground.
So to prevent this from happening, its better for you that the cane is supporting you when your left leg is planted on the ground so to take some of the stress of the bad knee. But, at the same time, keep your arms and legs swinging in a normal fashion.
Avoid Using The Cane On The Same Side As Your Bad Knee
There are some people who will insist on using a cane on the same side that they have their bad knee. While this can be done and it works for some people, it also doesn’t look or allow you to use the rest of your body in a natural motion.
The main reason that people use a cane on the same side as their bad knee is generally due to 1 of 2 reasons. 1) They just have a poor sense of how their body actually moves and are assuming that the cane has to be on the sore side, or, 2) they need a lot more support than the cane is really supposed to give and probably should move onto a walker.
Both of these are misconceptions. The following video will go over in more detail how you can use a cane if you have a bad knee.
You can also follow along with the audio portion if you want, here: