Canes and Crutches

Canes and Crutches

Types of Canes and Crutches and Walking Aids

For one reason or another some kind of walking aid (support or assistance) becomes necessary. There are many types of these aids to choose from. It is likely that your physiotherapist will recommend a certain main type depending on a number of factors such as:

  • Type of disability
  • Overall strength
  • Financial capabilities

Types of walking aids

There are 2 major types of walking aids.

  • Crutches
  • Walking sticks/canes

A common feature in these walking aids is that they have adjustable heights to accommodate people of differing heights. They are also lightweight so that a patient with disability can easily use it without using too much energy and suffering unnecessary fatigue.

Types of crutches

The commonest types of crutches are the underarm type. This may however not be ideal for everyone and so another type called forearm crutches may be recommend. Forearm crutches have the advantage of helping the user adjust their gait according to their degree of disability. This quality is important because different muscles are used in different gaits and so the patients can change gait to use a different set of muscles when they are tired with one walking style.


Types of walking canes

Like the crutches, walking canes are made of very light but strong and durable material such as aluminum. Wooden canes are also available and some patients may prefer them due to their aesthetic properties. The main differences in these canes are found on the handles. However, all give the patient the support and confidence they need.

  • The T-shaped walking cane. This type of cane is easy to handle and offers a good and strong grip. It may also be more affordable.
  • Crook (inverted C shape) handle. This is a common walking cane which can be wooden or other light material especially aluminum. The cane is very functional and has the advantage of easy hanging.
  • Ergonomically made handle walking cane. This type of cane could be a little bit more expensive but offers very easy handling and support. The handle is designed to fit well into the hand's anatomy and so creates little handling stress. It is ideal for people with a stiff hand. The handle is designed for each hand (left and right). The handle's shape makes accidental slipping of the hand unlikely.
  • Another common type of walking cane handle is shaped like a swan neck. This type offers very good balance. Some of these handles are adjustable so that the user's maximum force is concentrated at the base. Adjusting this handle needs only a push of a button. It has a self-locking system which guarantees security for the user. There is little chance of hand slipping because the handle is well contoured.
  • Folding canes. These canes are adjustable and can be folded during travel or for storage purposes. The cane after folding can be about a foot in length.
Walking Canes

See all Crutches and Canes