Suffering a sports injury is not only painful, it’s frustrating because it prevents you from enjoying your favorite physical activities. Although you’re impatient to get playing again, it’s vital that you give your body time to recover or you risk re-injuring yourself. During the recovery period of an injury, the use of walking canes keeps you safe and balanced.
Walking canes during recovery
When a sports injury affects your knee or lower leg, your doctor will probably advise the use of a walking aid to help you during the healing period. Walking canes help you maintain balance, keep body weight off the injured leg, and allow you to resume daily routines safely.
Learning to use a walking cane is just like learning any new sport; it requires practice, patience and persistence, but once you master the technique, you’re able to rediscover your strength.
- Positioning – The cane must reach the crease in your wrist when you’re standing straight, and you shouldn’t have to hunch to hold the cane with a slightly bent elbow. To provide proper support, grasp the cane in the hand opposite your injured leg.
- Walking – Set the cane out a short distance ahead of you and then lean upon it as you step forward on your injured leg. Follow by moving your uninjured leg forward and then reposition the cane ahead of you again and repeat the first step.
Using walking canes at home
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends modifying the layout of your home to keep you safe when using walking canes. This helps prevent falls, stumbles, and slips.
Simplify – Have vital items easily accessible and stow away things you know you don’t need regularly.
Hands-free – Wear a jacket, sweater, backpack or other piece of clothing with pockets to carry items.
Clear paths – Have someone help you move your furniture out of the main traffic path of your home so you have room to maneuver.
Lighting – Keep your home well-lit and avoid walking through dark rooms or hallways.
Bathroom – Install grab bars in the shower or by the tub to help you wash safely without slipping. Make sure all bathroom rugs are non-slip.
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