Canes are similar to crutches in that they support the body’s weight and help transmit the load from the legs to the upper body.
However, they take less weight off the lower body than crutches and place greater pressure on the hands and wrists.
Assistive canes are useful for people who have problems balancing and who are at risk of falling. Common types of canes include:
- Quad canes. These have four feet at the end of the cane, providing a wider base and greater stability.
- Forearm canes. Offering extra forearm support, these canes allow greater weight to be distributed from the wrist to the arm.
Some canes are adjustable or foldable. Canes which are used for non-medical purposes, such as by hik- ers, are known as walking sticks.