Quad Cane vs. Regular Cane – Which One for You?

A cane is a common staple you see in the hands of older people who have trouble moving around without additional support. A young person can also use it if the need arises.

Now, there are different types of canes for you to choose from. And you might find yourself a little confused over picking a quad cane and a regular cane. Well, you’re in luck as here, we’ll be giving you a complete guide on Quad cane vs. Regular cane.

You will be able to avail all the information you need about both types of canes so that you can have an easier time deciding which is right for you.

Why Do People Need Canes?

As we know, canes are walking aids used by those who need some assistance when they walk. Other than old age and their lack of strength, there might be many other reasons why people have to make use of a cane in their day-to-day lives.

Now, the reason why a cane is used may also have a very strong impact on how it is going to be used.

There is not one cane in the market that will cater to everyone’s needs. So, for that, it is critical to determine why the stick is going to be used and the specification of the person who will be using it. With that information finding the right cane will be much easier. The reasons why people might need a cane:

Recovery after Surgery

It is commonly seen that people who undergo surgery have to use a cane for about a week or two afterward. The two weeks are of recovery, and the cane is needed because the post-op patient might not have regained all of their strength.

Also, the cane will be there for them in case they do end up losing their balance while walking. A fall at a time like this might even end up being fatal for their lives. And so, the cane works as an assurance they will be able to rely on at this time.


If we are unaware of what vertigo is, then it is a sense of spinning dizziness. People who suffer from this problem have a tough time finding their balance and footing. And for that reason, they get hurt often. It is not possible to have someone around them at all times.

So, that is when the cane is needed; to be of support when they feel dizzy and are at risk of falling.

Injured or Weak Hip and Knee

There are certain parts of the body that help us out with our movements, and our hips are one of those parts. If you have injured them, then there is a very high chance you will need to use the canes so that if at any point your hips or knees give in, then the cane will be there to hold your weight.

For People Who Have Trouble Climbing Up and Down the Stairs

There are times when people have a hard time climbing up or down the stairs. And there is nothing wrong with using a cane to make your way. The cane will give you better balance, and you will not have to worry about falling and hurting yourself.

If stairs are the only problem area, then you might have to use it at all times and should be able to make do without on plain surfaces. There might be a few other reasons why a cane might be used by people, but the ones mentioned above are the most common causes behind the additional support.

People suffering from these problems do not have much trouble accepting the use or the assistance of the canes; however, people using it for old age or weaker muscles have a hard time coping up to it. They do not want to accept that they have now aged and have to use a cane for regular movement.

How Does the Cane Help?

The cane is used for better weight distribution, and it does actually take away much of the pressure from your legs while you walk with it.

You will have a much better balance when you use a cane and will not have to worry about falling down or your knees giving up. Also, you can lean on them when you feel like you have had too much walking.

For older people living with pain in the knees, this is a great option as you will be putting about 25% less weight on the other knee. And that is exactly what you will need from the cane. To take added pressure off your weak leg while walking or moving around.

Why Is It Important to Choose the Right Cane?

First of all, canes are primarily used by old people. They do not have much strength left in their legs, and therefore they need some type of support, which helps them move around. Now, every individual is different, and so are their requirements.

Some might need a bit more support than others, while there are some people who can make do with just a normal cane. So, for the safety of the senior citizens or family members, it is essential to make sure that you choose one that fits their necessities perfectly.

If they happen to need more support, then a quad cane would be more appropriate for them rather than a regular one. If in case you do end up picking the wrong one, then the elder members might even be at risk of falling and getting hurt. That is something we want to avoid at all costs.

Types of Cane

There are many people out there who are not aware of the different types of canes available in the market. The images that come to our minds when we think of canes is the standard or regular ones that are just a stick with a handle.

Even though they are the most frequently used and commonly seen in people's hands, there are, however, a few different types; Regular cane, Quad cane, and Off-set cane.

Now that we know the names of the different canes, we will go in-depth about the first two, as they are the main types of canes. It will help you to know which one would be the most useful for you or the person you want to buy the cane for.

  • Regular Cane

When you go to the stores, the most common kind of cane you will find is the standard or the regular kind. They are everywhere. And the reason why they are so readily available is because of the kind of service they provide to their users. You will be able to balance your weight pretty well if you use a regular cane.


Now, if you think the cane will support all your weight, then there is some bad news for you. Canes such as this are not strong enough to be able to take too much of your weight. They do, however, take away some of the pressure you put on your legs while walking.

People who suffer from knee problems, or have arthritis find this to be the easiest and the most convenient option for them. These sticks do not take up a lot of space, all the while providing just the right amount of help to its users.

As this type of cane has only one leg, you have to be very sure that there is a good quality rubber attached to it. If the rubber is not good, then chances are that you might end up slipping if you put a considerable amount of weight on it. So, checking the quality of the tip is a significant part of the cane purchasing process.

Just to be sure that the tip does not come off, go over the meeting point of the tip and the cane to let the rubber heat up a little so it can adhere better to the cane. So, you will not have to worry about it going missing.

  • Quad Cane

From what we have seen above, the main difference between the regular cane and the quad cane is the number of legs they have. Even though it might not seem like a very big deal, that makes all the difference in the world for the person who is actually using the cane to move around.

Usually, canes such as this one cater to a very specific group of people. Well, the group mostly consists of people who happen to need a bit more help with walking than the others. This provides more support to the user as it has four legs, meaning that you can lean on it without worrying about losing your balance.

Its four tips are able to keep the cane firmly on the ground for your safety and security, which is what a lot of people need after they have gone through a surgery or have vertigo and are unable to balance themselves whenever the dizziness strikes.

Even though, for the most part, the quad cane is a very reliable and helpful aid, but they are a little tougher to walk with as they weight more than the regular canes. Also, they do take up more space than a regular one does. But if these are not issues for you, then the quad cane is the best option.

How to Use a Cane?

Making sure you use the cane correctly is a very significant part of the whole process. Now, you cannot really use the regular and the quad cane the same way. There are a few differences in the way you are to hold them while walking as well as moving them around.

Regular Cane

This is something you will find to be the easiest to use. We see people walking around with them in our day-to-day lives. So, by replicating their movements, you will also be able to use it in the right way.

  • Step 1

The first thing you have to do is stand up straight and tall. Make sure you are standing on your own and are not leaning on anything else for support, or putting all of your weight on one side of your body.

  • Step 2

Now that you are standing, take the cane in your hand. The stick has to be held to your good side, meaning, on the side in which your knee and hip are stronger than the other side.

  • Step 3

As for moving forward, you will have to place weight on your good leg then take a step forward with your bad leg. All the while, you will reach your cane forward too. Be careful about how far you take the cane; it should be moved according to the length of the step you take. Otherwise, you might fall.

  • Step 4

After taking a step with the bad leg, you must transfer your weight onto the weaker leg and the cane, and only then can you take a step forward with the good leg. It is important to place the weight on both the leg and the stick so that there is less chance of your knees giving out.

  • Step 5

Keep repeating the steps, and that is how you will be able to walk.

Quad Cane 

Using a cane is not a tough job by any means, but in order to use it correctly, you must know how it is done. The whole process is not much different than the one we saw for the standard or regular kind of cane. You will just have to keep a thing or two in mind while walking.

  • Step 1

So, first off, what you are going to do after standing up straight is to take the cane in your hand. Now, which hand you take the stick on is important. So, if you have a weak right leg, then you must hold the cane in your right hand, the scenario would be the opposite if your right leg is weak.

  • Step 2

In order to take the steps, you will at first have to lean on your good leg and then, at the same time, move your bad leg and cane forward. Make sure that both are cover the same length, and you are not overreaching.

  • Step 3

Be careful while placing the cane on the ground. Unlike the standard one, this has four tips, and all of them have to be on the ground before you can put any of your weight on it.

  • Step 4

When the stick is safely on the ground, you will transfer your weight to your cane and weak leg from the good one. Then you can take a step forward with the stronger leg.

  • Step 5

That‘s all you need to know to walk with a quad cane; you just need to be aware whether the tips are all in the ground or not.

After the instructions provided to you, hopefully, you will not have any problems walking around with the cane. And neither should you have any accidents as long as you do what you have been told to.

How to Choose the Right Cane

Choosing the right kind of cane is extremely important as it a necessary part of many people's lives. A mistake in your choice of a cane may even prove to be fatal for the person using it. That might mainly be the case is the one you have chosen does not provide the right amount of support while walking.

Along with the accident, you should be worried about developing bad walking posture if you keep using an incorrect one for a long time. Fixing your posture might prove to be an extremely difficult task. So, below are some tips for helping you choose the right cane.

The tip is obviously something you will have to look into so that you are able to get the help that you need. And as mentioned before, you can choose between a single tip as well as multiple tip canes.

Along with the bottom, you have to consider the handle of the cane. You might find some molding to be far more comfortable to hold on to than others. That is why you should try the canes out before you buy them. This way, you will know what you like and what you want to avoid.

The length of the cane is an important factor for many people. Especially those who are very tall. Not all canes can accommodate very tall people, so you have to check whether the one you buy will be good for your height. If it's too short, you will have to lean down, and that will make your back hurt.

Many people have a tough time carrying their own weight for a very long time. For those people, there is the option of getting a seated cane. So, if they get tired or weak, the seat can be pulled down, and you have your own portable chair with you all the time.

There might be a few other things you would want to look for while buying a cane. But, whichever you end up choosing should be comfortable for you; otherwise, you will soon need a replacement.

Final Thoughts

By now, we have already established that the kind of cane you use on a day-to-day basis primarily depends on your needs as well as your requirements. If you need some extra support, then the quad cane would be the way to go, but for a little less support, the regular one will be fine.

  • Updated March 28, 2020
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