How to Adjust a Quad Cane?

When you are injured, a quad cane is the best option as it gives the best traction, stability, and weight capacity.

However, if you don’t know how to adjust it properly, the chances are high that you won’t be comfortable using it.

But we don’t want you to be uncomfortable while using a quad cane. That’s why we are gonna teach you how to adjust a quad cane in this article. But first, let’s get to learn how to choose the right quad cane.

How to Choose a Quad Cane

There are essentially two types of quad canes: a narrow base quad cane and a wide base quad canes. In the narrow base cane, the legs are attached to a slimmer base making it easier to raise and maneuver while walking; however, compared to the wide-based quad cane, it does not give as much support.

Quad-Cane

A wide base cane, on the other hand, has a bigger base for the legs to be attached to, which provides better support and stability for any movements. Nevertheless, it may turn out to be difficult to maneuver as it is heavier than the narrow base quad cane.

Now that you have an idea about the two different types of quad canes, the next step for you to take is to consult your doctor and physical therapist to decide which type of quad cane is best for your needs.

Typically, your balance and strength will dictate which one is more suitable for you. If you have substantial balance limitations or weaknesses, the ideal choice for you will be the wide base quad cane. On the other hand, if you don’t have a significant balance problem or weakness, a narrow cane is likely to be the ideal choice.

How to Adjust and Use the Quad Cane

Before you start using a quad cane, you have to make sure that it is the right height for you. Failing to adjust it accordingly will result in difficulty to walk or move properly, furthermore, it may result in accidents.

Stand up Straight with the Quad Cane Placed Next to You

Place your arm on the side of the cane and check if the handle of the cane is next to the crease of your wrist. This is supposed to be the ideal height, if it’s not in the right height or if you’re uncomfortable with the height, move on to the next step.

Properly Adjust the Cane to Your Height

If you are not happy with the height of the quad cane, adjust the height of it. You can adjust it by loosening the anti-rattle handle by turning it counterclockwise. Afterward, push the button firming while simultaneously turning the handle ever so slightly to elevate the handle up to the desired height.

Lock the Cane to Avoid Injuries

After you have the cane positioned in the perfect height, turn the handle back to lock the button into place and tighten the anti-rattle knob by turning it clockwise.

Place the Cane in the Correct Position

The legs of the cane are shaped like a “K”; the long side of the K should be kept closest to the patient. If it needs to be adjusted, lift, and turn the handle of the quad cane, and rotate to have the “K” face the opposite direction.

What If You Fail to Adjust your Quad Cane

Using a quad cane that is too long, you will have to put a strain on your shoulder and neck in order to walk with it, which is likely to result in shoulder and neck pain.

Walking like this will not provide the balance and support needed and may even cause you to slip and fall. Furthermore, if you don’t get the support you need, you may end up putting more strain on your existing injury.

If the quad cane is too short, you will have to bend down to use it; the constant bending is likely to result in severe to moderate back pain. Additionally, it can bring your center of mass forward, which is likely to result in you losing balance and falling. 

Therefore, if you fail to size your cane correctly, it can be damaging to your overall mobility and functional safety.

Walking with the Quad Cane

For most of the injuries, such as a broken hip or leg, the cane should be used by the opposite hand to the injury.

Move the quad cane forward slowly and make sure all four legs are kept in contact with the floor. Keep a tight grip on the quad cane to have stability and slowly advance with the weak leg first.

While getting adjusted to walking with the quad cane, keep your physiotherapist or someone you trust close by to avoid injuries. Do not rush into it or try to walk at a fast pace before fully gaining control over the mechanism.

More importantly, do not stop using the cane without consulting your therapist first, even if you start gaining your strength and balance.

Conclusion

All in all, a quad cane is a great device that can take on your full weight and will give you the best support to walk when you are injured or feeling weak.

It is very important to choose between the wide and narrow base quad canes according to your current condition and doctor’s recommendation.

Remember to adjust the height and side of the quad cane before you take any attempt to walk using its support.

Finally, remember to have someone to be there as a support during the first couple of times you attempt to walk with a quad cane.

  • Updated November 10, 2019
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