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Old November 19th, 2020 #1
Mike in Denver
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Under the Panopticon.
Posts: 4,277
Mike in Denver
Default Be careful of using canes

Canes are dangerous, overuse can damage your walking, gait, balance.

I don't always share really personal events here, sometimes yes, usually no. Here goes:

In June of this year I was in a very serious automobile accident...not my one and no insurance that I can get rich off. Damn.

My right hip was shattered...some other stuff too. I was ICU for 5 days. Brand new hip replacement.

Lessons follow:

For about a month I could only walk with a walker. I like the walker and I think it does no real damage to your balance or gait. One, it is symmetrical, two it can be used as an exercise device, even after it is not needed as a movement device. I still have it.

At about a month I started using a cane to walk. For a while I could only walk a few feet, later more. After about three months of this I could walk a mile or so with the cane. I noticed some stuff that made me very suspicious. My ordinary balance was skewed and not getting better. I tried walking without the cane...too soon. Hip and leg too weak.

I bore down and forced myself to walk without a cane. First attempt, 120 steps, and so on. I was walking several miles a day with the cane, and after a while I would hold the cane up and walk maybe two hundred steps without it. Then back to the cane.

For the last two days I have not used the cane. Two miles cane. Two miles cane.

My point for this gibber is that I noticed that the cane was training my hip and legs to walk in an unnatural balance. Do this for years and it's probably permanent.

Ah well! Denver is going back to full lockup tomorrow, and I had three pints of good craft beer today. Walked to the brewery...walked back...about two miles total--no cane. Beer is good for walking, gait, balance.

I'm 75...if you are curious.

Hunter S. Thompson, "Big dark, coming soon"