Canes are often used to assist in balance, widen ones base of support, and decrease weight bearing on a lower extremity. In order to achieve these functions, however, one must know how to properly use a cane. Here I will review the appropriate way to walk safely with a cane on level surfaces.
1) Hold the cane in the hand on your unaffected side so that it provides support to the opposite lower limb
2) Advance the cane simultaneously with the opposite affected lower limb
3) Lean your weight through the arm holding the cane as needed
4) Always have the unaffected lower limb assume the first full weight-bearing step on level surfaces