I wrote about how to safely go up and down steps.  I also wrote about the proper way to use a cane.  But I’ve never written about how to use a cane on steps.  Here ya go.  That first post I have linked is called “Up with the Good, Down with the Bad.”  Consider your cane a part of the BAD.  Whatever you do with the weaker leg, the cane, held by the opposite hand, does the same thing.  So to go up steps you would take a step up first leading with the GOOD leg, then at the same time bring up the bad leg and the cane to the same step.  You always, always, always want the cane to do the same thing as the bad leg because the bad leg needs that support.  Now, this is for safety.  Getting the bad leg stronger and back to normal function is an entirely different story.  But to be safe, this is how you do it.  If you are still walking with a walker – don’t use the walker on stairs.  I’ve seen this taught to people and I think it’s absolutely ridiculous.  There is no safe way to use a walker on stairs, especially for someone who has had a stroke.  If you are still using a walker, do not attempt to climb stairs that don’t have a railing to hold onto.  If there’s no railing, you might have to go up and down on your butt for a while.

Categories: Brain stuff, Recovery, Rehab, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , ,

4 replies

  1. A lot of people (including me before my daughter’s stroke) use a cane incorrectly. It was actually really funny watching my daughter try to learn to use a cane because she couldn’t coordinate the actions (I can say that because my daughter laughed too). She stayed with the walker a little longer and relied as you suggest on handrails and her butt. Fortunately she is much better now and get can around without assistance.

  2. my, my first PT said it a little differently: the good go to heaven, while the bad go to hell. and then corrected herself re calling my bad leg “bad.” as a result, I try to think positive thoughts about my recalcitrant side to make up for all the times I yell at it. this includes frequent kisses for my left hand … Mouth to hand, not hand to mouth.

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