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Q. What kind of cane should I get?

First, get a cane that fits. Let your arm hang at your side. The top of your cane should line up with your wrist. You can get an adjustable cane that can be expanded from about 31 inches to 40 inches in 1-inch increments. With your cane in your hand, the bend in your elbow should be about a 30-degrees.

The old reliable “crook cane” is still very popular. Offset canes put your weight more directly over the shaft and are usually adjustable. There are also folding canes that are easy to store. Broad-base canes with three or four legs have greater stability and are good for people with balance problems. In addition, there are canes that come with folding seats.

Wood canes are light and resilient. Aluminum canes are durable, adjustable and foldable. Graphite and fiberglass are very light and exceptionally strong.

Choose a handle that feels good. If you experience any numbness or pain in your hand, choose a different grip.

Check the weight limit. Typical canes can hold about 250 lbs.

Fred Cicetti

Fred Cicetti is a freelance writer who specializes in health. He has been writing professionally since 1963. 

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