Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Undue wear and tear on your wrist, elbow, shoulders and lower back can be avoided by walking with a cane correctly. Your best choice is to have your physician or physical therapist help fit your daily-use cane. If no professional help is available, these instructions will assist you in creating a comfortable fit.

The first thing to do is make certain that the cane you have chosen is the correct length for you.

It is always best if you have someone else do the measuring, your Doctor or Physiotherapist are always a good choice, but if not available, below is a general outline on how to measure for a cane.

  • Find someone to help you measure yourself so they can ensure that you are standing correctly.
  • Put on the shoes you most often wear stand on a hard surface.
    • If you regularly wear shoes with different height heels, consider getting canes that can be sized to the different heights or looking for an adjustable cane.
  • Stand upright in a relaxed stance.
  • Choose the hand you will use. Normally it is the opposite of the injury but in some cases it is the same. Talk to your Dr. or physiotherapist to determine the correct side for your situation.
  • Hang your arm loosely at your side. Your elbow should have a nice bend in it. Not straight nor overly bent. The final bend to your elbow when walking with the cane will be approx. 15 – 20 degrees if measured correctly.

From here you have two options.

First option: with your arm hanging loosely at your side (natural bend), you can measure from the floor to the crook of your wrist right below your thumb. (The wrinkle that separates your hand from your arm.)

Second option: place your elbow at the 15 – 20 degree bend and measure from the floor to the centre of the crook of your wrist. (15 degrees is 1/6 of the arc of your arm when it swings from vertical to horizontal

Either of the above methods should give you the same measurement.

Walking canes are generally sold at 36” with some as tall as 44”. The majority of us will need to have our canes sized before we use them. If you are seeing a physiotherapist, they will be able to measure you. For a full set of instructions see our “Sizing Your Cane” above or in our FAQ on our home page. We have a chart below to give you a general idea of what size of cane an individual should walk with. Please note, everyone’s body size is unique and they should be measured to determine the actual length needed.

User’s Height Approx Cane Size
5’– 5’3” 30”- 32.5”
5’3– 5’6” 32.5”- 33.5”
5’6– 5’9” 33.5”- 34.5”
5’9”– 6’ 34.5”- 36”
6’ – 6’3” 36” - 39”

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