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If you've recently undergone surgery, are recovering from an injury or have a chronic condition that causes weakness or stiffness, using a cane may help you to move more independently and comfortably. Your doctor will advise you as to whether or not a cane is the right mobility aid for your needs. Once you have his or her recommendations, you can find the right cane at a great price among the wide selection of styles available at Walgreens.
When shopping for a cane, you'll need to select a style that has the right type of tip and handle to meet your needs. Canes may have one tip at the bottom or a wider base with four tips. The four-tip cane (quad cane) provides a more stable base and is often recommended for individuals who need extra help to maintain their balance. The single tip cane is lighter in weight and often a better choice for those who do not have as much upper body strength. The handles of canes are generally curved or straight. With a straight handle, it is easy to maintain a tight grip, but a curved handled cane can be hung on the back of a chair or a hook for convenient storage. Straight handled canes may differ in the shape of their grips, and some are ergonomically designed for individuals with arthritis and other conditions that may reduce hand strength or flexibility. Your medical provider will likely give you advice as to which type of cane is the best choice for you.
In order for a cane to properly support your weight, it must be appropriately sized. When you're holding a cane, the handle should be in line with the fold formed when you bend your wrist. This helps ensure that your elbow can be slightly bent when you grip the cane and move it to walk. To select the perfect cane size, you can stand with your arms loosely at your side and measure from the fold of your wrist to the floor. Most canes are adjustable for height, so be certain to read the size ranges included in the product descriptions for canes. The cane styles will also have weight limits listed. Most standard canes are ideal for people who weigh up to 250 or 300 pounds. If you require a more supportive mobility aid, a bariatric cane will be an ideal choice for you.
If you intend to travel frequently with your cane or use it regularly to go on outings and to run errands, you may want to consider a specialty travel cane or adding accessories to your mobility aid to make it easier to use. Folding canes can be stored in a purse or bag until you're ready to use them, making them convenient when traveling by plane or vehicle. Some travel canes fold out into seats, so that you have a place to rest while waiting in line or when you simply need a break. You can also purchase cane storage pouches to store your valuables.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.