When it comes to your third foot…
Introduction and background
When it comes to various physical aids and supports used by elderly in arthritis, one of the key tools used is an efficient walking cane. It is considered more significant than any other support particularly because it not only helps as a strong mobility support but is also crucial in helping them remain safe as a pedestrian while walking. In addition, with respect to the “psycho-social” aspect, it can also act as a signal to others that they are capable and outgoing and the arthritis has not really restricted them from performing their daily routine functions.
Criteria for choosing the most suitable cane in arthritis
When it comes to choosing the most suitable cane, the following factors must be taken into consideration:
Kind of cane
Generally, a cane can be divided into the following two common types:
i) A straight cane (that cannot collapse)
ii) A folding cane (that can be easily dismantled and placed into a handbag or on a shelf for storage when not in use)
Both these types can then be further subdivided into a variety of other kinds such as:
A telescopic folding cane (comes with an elastic cord down the middle that separates into many sections)
A two section folding cane
Size of cane
Ideally, a cane’s height should match and be adjusted to the height of the person using the cane. Accordingly, it is best to go for a cane with an adjustable length (could be made longer or shorter) to suit and match your physical height. Experts suggest that, optimally, a cane’s length should be about half of the user’s body height so that while in standing position, a person’s elbow should be slightly and naturally bent downwards.
Composition or material of cane
Some of the common materials used in the manufacturing of canes include aluminum, fiberglass and carbon fiber. However, there are also some newer materials such as titanium model that are frequently being used in canes’ production. Typically, canes made of wood have always been used but they are not considered a preferable choice now mainly because of their shape, appearance and the noise they produce while being tapped on the floor. Similarly, while aluminum canes are considered cheaper, they are more fragile because once bent, they will lose their shape and utility forever.
Fiberglass, however, has an ability to return to its original size and shape because of its amazing flexibility and elasticity. It does, however, have more weight than the canes made of other materials. Also, with the passage of time, it can become discolored, taking on an off-white or yellow color.
One of the newest and increasingly used materials is carbon fiber because of its light weight and durability. However, it is also considered more expensive than other types of cane. On the other hand, it is less elastic (bending ability) as compared to the cane made of fiberglass which can slightly affect its performance in some cases.
Handle of cane
Grip is also very important and a cane’s handle is, therefore, very crucial in the selection criteria. If you have arthritis (and if it has affected your hand as well), you should go for a cane that comes with the most easy-to-grasp and comfortable handle that is neither too small nor very large. You must also ensure that you are perfectly able to grasp the handle without any difficulty and it’s within your hand’s reach.
Cost of cane
When it comes to the prices and costs, canes made of fiberglass and aluminum are considered cheaper as compared to canes made of steel, wood and other materials. Accordingly, if affordability is an issue for you, you should choose a cane only after comparing its price with the other available types (and in different stores) as well.
Finally, while the selection of the right cane is an important part of the “alternative or accessory” therapy implied in arthritis, it is never a “solution” of the problem. Therefore, it should be used only as a “supplementary aid” and not as one of the main therapies itself. To directly address the root cause of arthritis and effectively reduce and improve its symptoms, you will definitely need to use medications or / and some effective and safe natural herbal supplement such as Provailen. Combining a physical aid such as the right cane with the main therapy can not only provide rapid relief but will also result in cost savings in the long run.