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You should use your cane on the opposite side to the injured or weak leg.

So, for example, if you have a weak right leg you want to try and use your cane in your left hand.

If you have a weak left leg you should try to hold your cane in your right hand.

See the video below for how to walk correctly with a cane. 

You can see that this person is holding their cane in their right hand. So their weak or injured leg is their left one.

And every time they take a step forward with the left leg, the cane is moving forward at the same time to support that leg. 

I know it sounds counter-intuitive to have the cane on the opposite side – you would think that you would want your cane as close to the leg that needs supporting as possible!

But actually, this can:

  • Lead to a bad walking pattern. 
  • Encourage you to lean too heavily onto that side, instead of having an upright posture.
  • Cause you to potentially put too much weight through that weak or injured leg.

Also, with a ‘normal’ walking pattern, the opposite arm and opposite leg naturally move at the same
time as each other anyway.

So holding your cane in the opposite hand also means that you will be adopting the best, most natural walking pattern.

How to use a cane on the stairs may differ slightly form walking depending on whether you have a rail to hold onto (or not) and, if so, which side it’s on.

See ‘How to use a cane the right way’ for videos and more detailed instructions on how to walk
and do stairs with a cane.

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