How to Measure for a Cane? Proper Cane Height

You might need a walking cane as a permanent or a temporary solution to an injury or for chronic pain.

Having the correct height of the cane for you to use is essential to ensure that you have the proper balance and stability in your movement.

Having said that, there is no exact formula to determine the height as there are factors like a personal preference that comes into play.

Follow the steps below and use it as a guide to determine the proper cane height for you.


Estimating the Length of Your Cane

Follow the steps below to estimate the length of your cane:

Step 1

Using your height to estimate the size of the cane you will need can be very effective. Order a cane of 38 inches if your height is between 76 and 79 inches. If you are 72 to 75 inches tall, then you want to go for a 37-inch cane. Similarly, someone with a height of 64 to 67 inches will need a 35-inch cane.

The trick here is to drop one-inch height of the cane for every 3 inches of the height ranges given above. In most cases, the height of the cane can be adjusted. But if a cane is carved from wood, it might not have this feature.


Step 2

If you are average in height, then opt for a cane with a height of 36 inches. You will find that the canes are adjusted to an average height of 36 inches. Unless specified, manufacturers and sellers will send a 36-inch cane by default.

Step 3

You can also borrow a cane from someone around your height to figure out the size you will need. If they have done proper homework before purchasing their canes, then they should have one that fits.

One thing to keep note when measuring for your cane is the type of shoes you wear and the added height it gives you.

Getting a More Precise Measurement

Go through the following steps to get a precise measurement:

Step 1

To get a more precise measurement of your cane, you may use a measuring tape to measure the distance between the ground and your hand. Again, you might want to be wearing your shoes during this process to take into account the added height.

Have your arms hanging loosely at your sides when measuring. The right cane height should come up to your wrist. Take note of the angle your elbow is at, and see that the bend is comfortable to you. An angle of 15 degrees or so should be ideal, but you may need more depending on your situation.

Step 2 

How straight you stand will also have an effect on how you measure for your cane’s height. If you aren’t able to stand up straight and usually walk hunched over, you might need a shorter cane. If the cane is too short, on the other hand, it might throw you off balance.

Step 3

The obvious choice is to get a professional to help you out on such a thing. If it is getting too difficult for you to take your own measurements, then have your physical therapist or a physician help you out.

Asking the salesperson at the store is another option you have, and they can also recommend the best material, type of grip, and the shape of the handle for your cane.


Weighing in All Your Options

You have to consider all your options properly to make a well-informed decision.

Step 1

The length from your wrist to the floor does not have to be your only option. You may require a shorter or longer cane depending on many factors, such as the strength and flexibility of your shoulders, elbows, wrists, or hands. For instance, if you have difficulty bending your elbows, you might want a shorter cane.

It’s a good idea to try out a few different lengths of cane at the store before settling on one. Comfort, stability, and balance should be your main priority. Again, this will vary depending on the patient and their particular condition.

Step 2

Understand that there are different types of canes, made to cater to different kinds of situations and purposes. For example, if you need one for balance and stability, you won’t require a cane that is precise to your height. On the other hand, a cane that is meant to support your weight will have to be one of the right measurements.

You will find canes with one tip or four, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, while one tipped cane provides less stability than a four tipped one, it is a lot easier to use.

If you are looking for something that will bear all of your body weight, a walking cane might not suffice. In that case, you may want to opt for a wheelchair or crutches.

Step 3 

Don’t overlook the type of grip you should get on your cane. Your comfort level while you use your cane may depend a lot on the type of grip you get. In addition to having different types of grips, you also have the option of getting a cane with an additional cuff for more support that fits around your arm.

Step 4

Last but not least, the tip of your cane. The material the tip of your cane is made of might affect the height of the cane. You have the option of getting either a rubber or a plastic tip.

Don’t forget about the tip and the added height it provides when buying your cane. Remember also to replace the tips when it starts wearing down as it will reduce the height of the cane.

You must make sure that the tip of the cane you are buying is in good shape. Check the rubber and the tread to see if they are supple and in good condition. Keep an eye on it as you might need to replace it from time to time if it gets too worn out. You can always go to a medical store for a replacement.

Final Words

You must keep in mind that there is no exact formula in figuring out the perfect cane height for you. It depends a lot on your condition or injury, and personal preferences. But one thing is for certain, ensuring that you have the right one is extremely important.

  • Updated March 28, 2020
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