Do You Need a Prescription to Use a Cane?

senior sitting with cane

The short answer is, no. 

You could go online and purchase any cane from Amazon, Walmart, or your local drug store. Walking sticks are available to the public and do not require a prescription to be acquired.

Nonetheless – we do not recommend this.

We recommend obtaining a prescription from your medical provider for the cane because you should not be estimating your cane’s height or functionality without the insight of a trained professional.

Oftentimes, your cane will not be fitted to your exact height, leading to an aggravation of issues. Your cane should be at a height that matches your upper-leg but sits below your hip. There should be enough room for your elbow to bend slightly and not have to extend uncomfortably.

Being that there is an exact science to this, we advise that choose a cane that is:

Prescribed to you by a professional/physician

To confirm the measurements will not cause your joints and muscles to overcompensate for an imbalance in your weight distribution. Obtain medical advice and a base of support to ensure you are not worsening your posture, developing sclerosis, or increasing your joint pain. 

Adjustable

Because it is more challenging to find the perfect size in a non-adjustable cane.

Explained to you by a DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

Ideally, you should be fitted and then guided on how to use the cane to ensure you are not worsening the injury due to cane misuse. You will not hold the cane on your weak leg, despite being tempted to do so. If you have injured your right side, you will alleviate this by holding the cane on your left side. Practice with a physician that can adjust any use-errors that could be dangerous long-term. You can also use the physical therapist to increase your strength-training, which may alleviate any endurance fears you have had.

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