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Using a Cane

A cane helps you get around on your own. Many different canes are available. The most common type has a single tip. But if you have balance problems, your healthcare provider may recommend that you use a quad (four-point) cane. Always use your cane on the stronger (uninjured or unaffected) side, unless told otherwise.


Use the cane on the side opposite your weaker leg.



Image of man with cane

Image of man with cane

Image of man with cane


  • Put all your weight on your stronger leg.

  • Find your balance.

  • Move the cane and your weaker leg forward.


  • Support your weight on both the cane and the affected leg.

  • Then step through with your stronger leg.

  • Put your weight on the weaker leg and start the next step.


  • When using a quad cane, place the cane so that all of the tips touch the ground.

Image of woman with cane going up stairs

Image of woman with cane going down stairs

Up Stairs and Curbs

  • If there is a railing, hold on to it with your free hand.

  • Step up with your stronger leg first.

  • Then move the cane and weaker leg together as a unit.

Down Stairs and Curbs

  • To walk down, step down with your weaker leg and the cane first.

  • Then follow with your stronger leg.


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