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How to Measure Walking Canes

Date Added: October 11, 2009 04:16:16 PM

So you have decided that you need a walking cane. Let me congratulate you, you've taken a step that is not only integral to your continuing health, but one that will provide you with years of relief and support.

But it is very important that you know the proper way to size your walking cane. Using a cane that is either too short or too tall with any regularity can not only make it so you are not helping the problem, but depending on support that is not made for you can make more complications, make the problems worse and even cause more.

So how do you size your cane? The process is actually quite simple, and can be accomplished in these four easy steps.

Step one: put on the shoes you normally walk in. This is very important, as a few inches here or there can make a profound difference.

Step two: get a friend or family member with a tape measure. Never try to measure yourself. The stooping, bending, twisting and more motions required to get the proper measurements will make any measurement you get completely inaccurate.

Step three: Standing relaxed, as upright as you can, keep your arms relaxed at your side and measure from the floor to the bottom crease in your wrist. This ensures that your cane handle will be where your hand naturally bends, making it the perfect height to be easy to grasp and use.

Step four: Measure and adjust your walking cane to fit. Round the measurement to your wrist up to the nearest half inch, and this will be the height of your walking cane. Measure from the lowest point in the cane handle to the end of the ferrule (cane tip), and make sure that the measurements from floor to wrist and ferrule to cane handle match. Cut a cane down to size if you need to, but keep in mind the size of the ferrule.

Cutting a cane down to size is something that many people will have to do, as they are generally sold in standard sizes, and those are usually much too tall for most people. If you shop for a folding cane for its obvious conveniences, make sure that it has a telescoping height adjustment, as it will be hard to cut one of these properly because of the folding mechanism.

An adjustable cane eliminates the need for all of these steps. Adjustable canes will be made of two pieces that either telescope to different lengths, or twist inside one another to lock into place.