Walking with a Cane

Follow the steps below when you walk with a cane.

Step 1: Hold the cane in the hand opposite your injured or weaker leg.

Step 2: Move the cane and step with your weaker leg at the same time. Keep the cane close to your body for support and balance.

Step 3: Support your weight on your cane and your weaker leg. Step up to (or through) with the uninjured or stronger leg.

Step 4: Continue to repeat steps 1 through 3.

Step 2

Step 3


Below are helpful tips for walking safely with a cane.

  • Do not take a step unless your cane is firmly on the ground.
  • Do not place your cane too far forward. Your cane should be directly across from the instep of your weaker foot.
  • Do not take steps that are too big.
  • When turning, take small steps and do not pivot.
  • Check your cane tip regularly. Replace it when it is worn. You can buy new tips from a drug store or durable medical supply company.
  • Be careful when you walk on uneven or wet surfaces.
  • Use good posture when walking.
  • If you use a cane for balance reasons only, you can hold it in either hand.

Revised January 2011

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA | UPMC.com