A Campbell Cane is a special type of walking cane developed by Ron Campbell. He got the idea for the cane after watching people walk with standard canes and felt that people could be walking more upright with less pressure on the shoulder and hand.
A cane is a cane is a cane. Right? When you think of a walking cane, you think of a wooden or metal adjustable stick with a curved handle. When the cane is sized correctly, the tip comes up to about the level of your hip. You keep a slight bend in your elbow and push down through the shoulder for stability.
A Campbell Cane is different. At first glance, the Campbell Cane is an impressive piece of art. It is crafted out of hardwood with a small rubber knob on the bottom. It also has a very unique handle at the top, which makes the Campbell Cane function differently from a standard cane.
The unique handle on the top of each Campbell Cane is angled upward. There is also a small knob where the handle of the cane meets the "stick" portion of the cane.
The Campbell Handle on the top of the cane puts your hand in a neutral position, and this feels more comfortable than the handle on a standard cane. You can also choose to grip the middle or the knob part of the handle. Each part changes slightly the position of your elbow, shoulder, and hand which can help relieve stress on these body parts.
Walking with a Campbell Cane is easy too. It seems to help keep your body in a more upright position, and this helps focus your eyes forward and not down on the ground. The upright position of the cane makes navigating stairs a bit easier as well.
The Campbell Cane is a bit more expensive than a standard cane, with the price starting at $99.00 (US) and working up from there for the more exotic hardwoods.
Overall, if you are looking for a cane that looks impressive, keeps your body upright, and allows you to change your hand position, the Campbell Cane may be the right cane for you.
Why Walk With a Campbell Cane?
The manufacturer of the Campbell Cane, Ron Campbell, states that the unique shape of the cane makes it easier for the user to apply downward pressure through the hand and cane using the triceps muscle rather than the shoulder. This serves to prevent shoulder pain and pressure.
Another possible benefit of walking with a Campbell Cane is that there is less downward pressure through the hand, and the handgrip on the cane keeps your hand in a neutral position. This limits stress through the hand which may be more suitable for someone with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Campbell Canes are a bit taller than a standard cane, and the creator of the cane feels that this helps your keep your balance better. A standard cane forces the user to pitch slightly forward which brings the center of gravity forward. This may lead to an increased risk of falling. By keeping your posture upright, your center of gravity remains where it should be, and thus the possiblity of falling may be lessened.
Campbell Canes are also attractive, and each one is hand made from hardwood. This tends to appeal to people who may not like the look of a typical metal or wooden straight cane. Woods currently available are River Maple, Ash, and Walnut.
Cons of a Campbell Cane
One of the cons of using a wooden Campbell Cane is that it is not readily adjustable. If the cane is too long, cutting the bottom off is a good option, but there is no option for lengthening the cane. There is an adjustable Campbell Cane that uses the Campbell Handle on a standard metal adjustable cane. If you are unsure of what height to have your cane or any other assistive device, be sure to visit your physical therapist for help.
Another con of a Campbell Cane is that the claims made by the manufacturer have not been substantiated with thorough research. The manufacturer does provide anectodal stories of customers of how they feel when using the canes, but no known reserach exists as to the cane's safety and effectiveness in helping the user maintain upright posutre or decreased shoulder and hand stress.