I cringe every time that I see canes and walkers adjusted to a height so that the victim of the adjustment (and here I will say victim), is in the obvious process of damaging themselves to the point of incurring osteoporosis. I am talking about the too short syndrome.
OK, I am NOT a doctor, and have no medical background, but on this subject, I often wonder if medical industry has their heads in their books and are not looking at the patients.
When your cane is too short your spine is bent to one side as you walk. Your opposite hip is thrust outward, away from the spine, and eventually tearing from spine. Lower back pain, hip pain on the opposite hip, and sciatica pain are natural result.
If you walk with a walker, or with two canes that are too short, and cause you to lean, you can see the obvious hunchback effect, which will result in upper back pain, middle back pain and spine pain, as well as permanently curved spine and bone spurs.
In this picture, the cane is too tall, and even though the woman is holding the cane with a bent arm, her left shoulder is still thrust painfully upward.
In these two pictures, the man has his walker adjusted to low, and is leaning forward, bending his spine, risking permanent a permanent curved spine. The lady to his right, has her walker adjusted corrected and is able to stand erect with a straight spine.
I’m not in favor on the absolute use of measurement based on hip point alone, because this does account for the various size of a persons core (from hip to shoulder) or the length of their of their arms. All three of these measurements must be taken into account to properly size a mobility device.
The easiest way is to have the user with their back straight and their legs only slightly relaxed. A cane should be handed to the person, and be fitted so that shoulder is not pushed up, nor do they bend right or left to hold it when the cane is positioned about 5” in front of or behind their body.
A person using a walker should also stand with a straight spine and arms positioned out about 6” from the body. The person should be able to the hold the cane in a relaxed position as the lady in the above picture.