Saturday, March 02, 2013

Assistive Cane & Walking Stick (or Poles)

Assistive Cane From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

An assistive cane is a walking stick used as a crutch or mobility aid. Canes can help redistribute weight from a lower leg that is weak or painful, improve stability by increasing the base of support, and provide tactile information about the ground to improve balance. Ten percent of adults older than 65 years use canes, and 4.6 percent use walkers.

Wooden Cane

In contrast to crutches, canes are generally lighter, but, because they transfer the load through the user's unsupported wrist, are unable to offload equal loads from the legs.

Another type of crutch is the walker, a frame held in front of the user and which the user leans on during movement. Walkers are more stable due to their greater area of ground contact, but are larger and less wieldy and, like canes, pass the full load through the user's wrists in most cases.

Parts of Medical Canes

Bottom of a quad cane showing ferrules
The basic cane has four parts. These parts vary depending on the design of the cane and the needs of the user.

  • Handle The handle of a cane is extremely important to the user. Many different styles exist, the most common traditional designs are the Tourist, or crook handle, the Fritz Handle and the Derby Handle. Ergonomically shaped handles have become increasingly common for canes intended for medical use, both increasing the comfort of the grip for the user (particularly important for those users with disabilities which also affect their hands or wrists), and better transmitting the load from the user's hand and arm into the shaft.
  • Collar The collar of a cane may be only a decorative addition made for stylistic reasons, or may form the structural interface between shaft and handle.
  • Shaft The shaft of the cane transmits the load from the handle to the ferrule and may be constructed from carbon fiber polymer, metal, composites, or traditional wood.
  • Ferrule The tip of a cane provides traction and added support when the cane is used at an angle. Many kinds of ferrules exist, but most common is a simple, ridged rubber stopper. Users can easily replace a ferrule with one that better suits their individual needs.

Modern canes may differ from the traditional fixed structure. For instance, a quad cane has a base attached to the shaft that provides added stability by having four ferrules, and an adjustable cane may have two shaft segments telescoping one inside the other to allow adjustment for multiple sizes.

All cane users who need a walking cane for medical reasons should consult a medical professional before choosing the style that is right for them. It is particularly important that the cane is the appropriate height for the individual user

Types of Canes

  • White canes: specially for assisting the visually impaired, these are longer and thinner and allow the user to "feel" the path ahead. They also alert others, such as motorists, to know the user is blind and therefore use caution. In the UK, red banding on a white cane indicates a deaf-blind user.
  • Folding canes: have several joints, generally linked by an internal elastic cord, allowing them to be folded into a shorter length when not in use.
  • Forearm canes: are either regular canes or offset canes with additional forearm support, allowing increased stability and load shifted from the wrist to the forearm.
  • Quad canes: have four ferrules at the base, allowing them to stand freely, and offering a more stable base for standing.
  • Tripod canes: open in tripod fashion. Often available with an attached seat.
  • Adjustable canes: feature two or more shaft pieces for a telescoping effect that allows the user to lengthen or shorten their walking cane to fit to size. This feature can be combined with other variations.
  • Shillelagh: a cane made of blackthorn wood, originating in Ireland and still a recognized symbol thereof.


  • The most common accessory is a hand strap, to prevent loss of the stick should the hand release its grip. These are often threaded through a hole drilled into the stick rather than tied around.
  • A clip-on frame or similar device can be used to stand a stick against the top of a table.
  •  In cold climates, a metallic cleat may be added to the foot of the cane. This dramatically increases traction on ice. The device is usually designed so it can be easily flipped to the side to prevent damage to indoor flooring.
  • Different handles are available to better match the size of the user's hands and their medical needs.
  • Rubber ferrules give extra traction on most surfaces.


Canes are generally used in the hand opposite the injury or weakness. This may appear counter-intuitive, but it allows the cane to be used for stability in a way that lets the user shift much of their weight away from their weaker side and onto their cane, thus preventing their center of balance from swaying from side to side as they walk. It also allows for fluid movement that better matches walking, as the hand opposite the leg generally sways forward in normal human locomotion. Personal preference, or a need to hold the cane in their dominant hand means some cane users choose to hold the cane on the same side as the affected leg.

See the full article Assistive Cane From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Walking Stick From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Trekking Poles
A walking stick is a device used by many people to facilitate balancing while walking.

Walking sticks come in many shapes and sizes, and can be sought by collectors. Some kinds of walking stick may be used by people with disabilities as a crutch. The walking stick has also historically been known to be used as a defensive or offensive weapon, and may conceal a knife or sword as in a swordstick.

Walking sticks, also known as trekking poles, pilgrim's staffs, hiking poles or hiking sticks, are used by hikers for a wide variety of purposes: to clear spider webs, or part thick bushes or grass obscuring the trail; as a support when going uphill or a brake when going downhill; as a balance point when crossing streams, swamps or other rough terrain; to feel for obstacles in the path; to test mud and puddles for depth; and as a defence against wild animals. A walking stick can be improvised from nearby felled wood. More ornate sticks are made for avid hikers, and are often adorned with small trinkets or medallions depicting "conquered" territory. Wood walking sticks are used for outdoor sports, healthy upper body exercise and even club, department and family memorials. They can be individually handcrafted from a number of woods, and may be personalised in many ways for the owner.

A collector of walking sticks is termed a rabologist.


  • The most common accessory, before or after purchase or manufacture, is a hand strap, to prevent loss of the stick should the hand release its grip. These are often threaded through a hole drilled into the stick rather than tied around.
  • A clip-on frame or similar device can be used to stand a stick against the top of a table.
  • In cold climates, a metallic cleat may be added to the foot of the cane. This dramatically increases traction on ice. The device is usually designed so it can be easily flipped to the side to prevent damage to indoor flooring.
  • Different handles are available to match grips of varying sizes.
  • Rubber ferrules give extra traction on most surfaces.
  • Nordic walking (ski walking) poles are extremely popular in Europe. Walking with two poles in the correct length radically reduces the stress to the knees, hips and back. These special poles come with straps resembling a fingerless glove, durable metal tips for off-road and removable rubber tips for pavement and other hard surfaces.

See the full article Walking Stick From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Walking Canes: How to Choose, Measure and Use.

"Famous" Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck present information on how to choose, measure, and use the right cane for yourself or a loved one.

Standard YouTube License @ physicaltherapyvideo's channel

How to Use a Cane

In this video, Jose' Silva provides instructions on how to use a cane.

Standard YouTube License @ CaregiversTrainingVideos

Steve's First Walk With Cane

Stroke survivor takes his first walk with a cane three and a half weeks after a large ischemic stroke left his left side paralyzed. The chronology of events in his stroke recovery can be found in the Stroke Recovery Journal at

Standard YouTube License @ StrokeSurvivor2008's channel

Walking With a 4-Pronged Cane

On November 25, 2009, I had a stroke. An aneurysm burst in my brain, I began to slur my words and then (apparently) I collapsed on the floor of my apartment in San Luis Obispo. I was only 21 years old at the time.

I was airlifted by helicopter to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. Dr. Alois Zauner, a nationally respected neurosurgeon on staff, began immediately to try to determine how to stop the bleeding. By early the next morning, he was able to stop the bleeding by opening up my skull and putting two clips on the bleeding artery. By that time, my parents had arrived and were informed that I needed to be put into a medically induced coma.

I was kept in a coma for four weeks to allow my brain to heal and any swelling to go away. In total, I was in the hospital in Santa Barbara for five months. I came home to Moraga, California in March 2010 and weighed only 102 lbs -- having lost over 40 lbs. during my hospital stay.

The doctors believe I should fully recover, but the process takes quite a bit of time. Fortunately, I'm young, so my body and my brain's ability to recover is very good. My recovery includes improving the use of my right arm and leg and my brain's ability to retrieve and use the right words when speaking and writing. Right now, I am using Dragon Dictate software to help write this story. Because of the stroke, it is difficult for me to type with only my left hand and also because I'm still having a bit of difficulty spelling words correctly. As you can see from the videos, my language skills and my walking have improved a lot since the stroke. The videos you see show my slow but positive recovery beginning in April 2010 and continuing to this day.

Standard YouTube License @ sperbaby's channel

Walking With a Cane

Here I am walking with a cane. You can observe my sense of humour coming back.

Standard YouTube License @ sperbaby's channel

Recovery Following a Massive Stroke - Sandra

Sandra was unable to get in or out of bed and could not take any steps following a massive stroke 6 months earlier which forced her to live in a nursing home under full care. After spending five weeks at Ability Camp she now has new freedom and can get out of bed, walk with a walker or cane and is returning to her own home!

Standard YouTube License @ Abilitycampinc

Walking With a Cane (Demo)

This video demonstrates how a patient can walk with a cane.

This how-to series, made possible by the Norma Oppenlander Fund, is designed to provide persons afflicted with PSP, CBD and related diseases with demonstrations of techniques that can be utilized to make daily tasks easier to perform.


Standard YouTube License @ CurePSP's How-To Series

Stroke Survivor Walks With the Quad Cane & Theraband

Six weeks after a massive stroke paralyzed his left side, Stroke Survivor Steve is equipped with a Theraband (an elastic band), which helps him to lift his leg so he can walk more fluidly. Read more about his stroke recovery at

Standard YouTube License @ StrokeSurvivor2008's channel

Stroke Survivor Walking Across America (With a Cane)

Standard YouTube License @ The News On 6 Video

Walking Home First Time Since Major Stroke Teacher Leyva Scripps

How would you handle this? Tell her what you think at

Isabel and husband Richard celebrated their second wedding anniversary while Isabel was in the hospital following her stroke. Rick is a former TV news reporter whose new career is that of sole caregiver. He's a Contributing Writer for The Stroke When he can find someone to sit with Isabel he works as a free-lance cameraman and on camera spokesman, as well as writing, editing, and voice-over work from home when possible.

Isabel and Richard live in Oceanside, California, San Diego County, California, U.S.A.

See as well Caregiver Rick for Stroke Survivor Isabel, Saturday, April 28, 2012, on SSTattler.

Standard YouTube License @ Caring For Miss Leyva-Griffith

LEKI Sierra Single Staff Pole

How to use your Sierra as a monopod, adjust the length for your preference and the purpose of the Carbide Flextip / Rubber Tip.

Standard YouTube License @ LekiUSA's channel

REI Hiker Walking Staff Review

Lightweight, compact, and useful: that's what the REI Hiker Walking Staff is all about. Whether you're hitting the trail or just going for a leisurely walk outside, the Hiker is a great companion to take along. It's durable construction and well-designed body help to take a little of the stress off of you're walk and also provide a bit of safety.

It features:

  • Antishock springs can be turned on and off with a twist of the pole—use the extra cushion for going downhill; set it rigid for support uphill.
  • Shocklight springs are located inside the inner shaft; thus, are quieter and smoother than other pole springs.
  • Foam grip and wide, padded wrist loop ensure a comfortable and secure hold; cork knob unscrews to create a monopod camera mount.
  • Small-diameter trekking basket keeps the durable carbide tip from sinking into soft dirt and sand, yet resists catching in underbrush.
  • The three-section shaft compacts small enough to strap to a daypack.
  • Measures 51 inches open and 28.5 inches closed; grip length is 8 inches.
  • Shaft material: Aluminum 7075-T6.
  • Available at REI for approx $60.

Standard YouTube License @ jumpTheMap

Trek-Tech TrekPod Tripod

Jared from Trek-Tech demonstrates An outdoor/indoor-friendly tripod that can serve as a walking staff, monopod, and much more.

Standard YouTube License @ marketnewsmag

Home Made Walking Cane

Just got this Cane finished. It is Wild Lilac and it grows wild near the rivers edges of B.C. Very nice wood, once sanded down, and makes a fine walking stick or support Cane.

Standard YouTube License @ Sean C

Handmade Canes and Walking/Hicking Sticks

This is a movie about hand made canes and walking/hiking sticks I make and have made. I do NOT use power tools.

Standard YouTube License @ 40ED40


  1. Nice post, you have shared really some amazing sticks that are required for different purpose. You may use these sticks for fulfilling different goal. I like the walking sticks that give me a lot of support in walking.

  2. There are so many cool walking canes for sale now days! I love all the ideas and styles on this site!!

  3. These canes are so great! It's amazing what they can do with canes now days! I recently bought one for my grandmother from and she loved it!

  4. Nice site, It strikes a nice balance of the concept. I had a natural tendency towards 'mindfulness' from a young age. I am glad that I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation. Thanks for sharing.
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    Tricycle Handicapped
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