Choosing a Handle
The most important consideration in choosing a cane is to match the cane with the user's needs, abilities, limitations, and environment, so that the cane becomes the key to better mobility and safety for the user. Canes are not designed to substitute for bearing all the weight you normally would on your legs, but to provide your legs with some relief from bearing all your weight. The cane adds a third point of ground contact that alters the biomechanics of walking to affect balance, relieve painful joints and provide stability to the user.
The classic J Handle shaped cane is called the Tourist. This is the most commonly shaped handle, however, most people perfer the derby handle unless they are use to using the J handle.
The Fritz handle was developed in the 16th century by a German Count, specifically for use by the arthritic sufferer. The design continues today providing maximum comfort, support and style.
The Derby is the most popular handle and is chosen 4 to 1 over any other handle. The handle is shaped for comfort and directs the weight of the individual over the shaft ensuring maximum comfort.
Anatomically Correct handles are beautifully crafted left and right handed walking sticks that offer the ultimate in comfort, stability and style. Designed and custom crafted to fit like a fine glove, the user will immediately appreciate just how comfortable and beneficial these handles really are, whether used singly or as a pair.
Walking with a Cane
THIS INFORMATION IN NO WAY REPLACES A MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS RECOMMENDATION. As with any medical device please see you doctor before sizing and use.
Using your cane properly will increase stability and balance while walking or standing. You should use your cane on the opposite side of your injury or weakness, regardless of which hand is your dominant one. Put all of your weight on your unaffected leg, then step with your affected leg and the cane at the same time a comfortable distance forward. With your weight supported on both your cane and your affected leg, step through with your unaffected leg.
When using a cane for balance, let comfort be your guide. Place and plant your cane firmly on the ground before you take a step. Nonskid rubber tips help keep you from slipping. Check tips often and replace them if they look worn.
Never place your cane too far ahead of you, or it could slip and you could fall. Wear sturdy low heel shoes with nonskid soles to help prevent falls and increase stability and balance. Avoid wet floors and sidewalks because they may be slippery. Remove throw rugs from your path (especially if you have hardwood or linoleum floors). Keep an eye out for electrical and telephone cords and other items that may cause falls. Revolving doors and escalators should be avoided because ... Speak with your physician about a temporary (or permanent) disabled permit that will allow you to park in handicapped zones. Slow down and take your time to make your outings safe.
Going up stairs: Take the first step up with your stronger leg. Then move the cane and affected leg to that same step.
Going downstairs: Take the first step down with the cane and the "bad" leg. Then, lower the strong leg to the same step.
Winter walking: If you use a cane, it helps to plan ahead for winter walking. Take plenty of time and rest breaks as needed. Watch out for slippery wet areas, snow and ice. There are canes designed for winter use with special tips to "grip" the ice (See next section.).
Preventing falls: Always be sure the tip on your cane is in good shape. A worn tip is more likely to cause a slip on ice, snow or a wet surface. Use the widest tip you can, but it should fit snugly on your cane. Ask about an "ice-gripping" device for the bottom of your cane. Called an icepick or icegrip, these can be flipped down for a better grip on snow or ice.. For greater balance, consider using two canes during winter walks. Don't forget about the proper footwear! Even with a cane, your feet can slip on the ice or snow.
For more information on canes and winter walking, talk to your pharmacist or home health care specialist.
Falling is a serious issue for our older population. 1 out of 3 seniors fall every year. 90% of broken hips are the direct result of falls. By the time a senior reaches age 75, falls are the major cause of fatal injuries.
Cleaning a Cane
The best method of cleaning your cane is simple soap and water. Other products may leave a slippery film or possibly damage your cane. In particular, lucite canes should NOT be cleaned with Windex or other window cleaners. These cleaners can actually cause them to look dull the look of your lucite cane.
When you are out in public, use the cane strap to hand your cane from your wrist rather than placing your cane in a shopping cart or hooking it onto a shelf. This will prevent lost or stolen canes.
It's best not to put your cane on the roof of a car while opening the door. This is a very common way to lose your cane. If necessary, place your cane on the hood of the car near the windshield wipers so you will see the cane before you drive off.
Caring for a Cane
When resting a cane against a wall, place the handle down and the rubber tip against the wall. This will decrease the possibility of the cane falling.
Anatomy of a Cane
A cane or walking stick has four main parts:
1. The handle is usually found in several varieties, the most common being, the Tourist (crook), the Derby and the Fritz. Please see "Choosing a handle."
2. The collar is usually a band or disk of metal that attaches the handle to the shaft.
3. The shaft is the straight part of the cane, usually made of wood, but it can be bone, bamboo, horn or metal, such as aluminum.
4. The ferrule is the very end of the cane. These used to be made of copper and other metals to protect the cane from rot and general wear and tear. Now the ferrule or "tip" of the cane is made of rubber. Rubber is economical, non skid and can be easily replaced.
History of Canes
Walking sticks started out as a necessary tool for the Shepherd and traveler. A nice hefty stick was an excellent way to protect against thieves and to keep animals in line. Over time, the walking stick gradually began to be known as a symbol for power and strength, and eventually authority and social prestige. Rulers of many cultures, past and present, have carried some form of walking stick or staff. Egyptian rulers were believed to have carried staffs varying from three to six feet in length. These were often topped by an ornamental knob in the shape of a lotus, a symbol of long life. Ancient Greek gods were often depicted with a staff in hand. By the Middle Ages, (in what is now Europe), a scepter carried in the right hand was a symbol of royal power, while one in the left hand represented justice. The church also began to use staffs to denote it's higher offices. A crooked staff with a hook held by a bishop was a symbol of his role as Shaped to his congregation. The hook represented the Bishop drawing in his flock to the church. The use of the word cane for a walking stick began in the 16th century, when bamboo and other tropical grasses and reeds began to be used as shafts. The distinction between sticks and canes is based on the materials used; sticks were made of ivory, whalebone, ebony and other valuable woods. Canes were made from Malacca or rattan, bamboo and other hardy reeds. Quality canes spoke volumes about a person's wealth and social status. After the 1600s, canes became fashionable for men to carry as part of their daily attire. New rules of etiquette were formed during this time. To break this code of behavior was considered a violation of good manners. In 1702, the men of London were required to have a license in order to carry a walking stick or cane. Cane use was considered a privilege, and gentlemen had to abide by those rules or lose the privilege
One example of a cane license reads: You are herby required to permit the bearer of this cane to pass and repass through the streets of London, or anyplace within ten miles of it, without theft or molestation: Provided that he does not walk with it under his arm, brandish it in the air, or hang it on a button, in which case it shall be forfeited, and I hereby declare it forfeited to anyone who shall think it safe to take it from him. Signed________. (Source: Lester and Oerke Accessories of Dress, Peoria, IL. The Manual Arts Press.)
In the late 17th Century oak sticks were carried, especially by the Puritans. The fashion (for men) continued into the 18th Century. From time to time, women also carried walking sticks or canes as a fashion accessory. In the 11th Century, in what we now call France, women carried slender sticks made of apple wood. Canes came into fashion again with Marie Antoinette, who was known for carrying a Shepherd's crook. In the United States, presidents have often carried canes and received them as gifts. The Smithsonian has a cane given to George Washington by Ben Franklin. It features a gold handle in the shape of a French liberty cap. In our time, walking sticks are usually only seen with formal attire. Collectors of canes look for the old, the new and the novel. Canes with hidden features such as hidden compartments, pool sticks, and sword canes are popular among collectors. Handles have been made from many substances, both natural and man-made. Carved and decorated canes have turned the functional into the fantastic.
History of the Blind Cane or Shooter Cane
The White cane is tool for independence and a symbol of our sight impaired citizens. The origin of the white cane has it's beginning in the time between the two World Wars. James Biggs of Bristol claims to have invented it in 1921. After losing his sight and feeling threatened by traffic near his home, he painted his walking stick white to be more visible to motorists. Ten years later, in February 1931, Guilly d'Herbemont began a national white stick movement for the sight impaired in France. In May of the same year the British Broadcasting Company suggested that white sticks should be given out to the sight impaired, and that the white stick or cane should become a universal symbol to indicate that a person was blind or visually impaired. In North America, the Lion's club sponsored a similar movement. After World War II, a dramatic change was made in the way white canes were used. Doctor Richard Hoover developed the "long cane" method of cane travel as a means to help blinded veterans return to a more functional lifestyle. The white cane began to find its mark in government policy at this time. Peoria passed the first special White Cane Ordinance in December 1930, granting visually impaired pedestrians special protections and right-of-way while carrying the white cane. In 1964 Congress passed a law that allowed the president to declare a National White Cane Safety Day to promote awareness and use of the white cane. Lyndon B Johnson became the first president to declare October 15th as White Cane Safety Day. Since then, most presidents have continued to recognize this day as a day to remember that the main barrier that the disabled face in our society is that of discrimination. The White Cane is not only a tool, but also a staff that recognizes independence.
We carry only the best products that meet our high standards in materials and appearance.
Because our products are made from natural materials there may be variation in color. The cane you purchase may vary slightly in appearance from the cane viewed on our website. This means that each and every cane is unique!
Because our products are made from natural materials there will be variations in wood grain, color and appearance. Our canes are unique and environmentally friendly!
Not all canes and walking sticks are made to support weight. Use discretion and common sense in the use of canes which are very thin, or have a dual use or feature. For example, for a sore ankle, use a support cane, not a sword cane.