Journal of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation

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Are there Differences in Energy Consumption and Distance Ambulated in Young Healthy Adults Using Canes?

Background: Individuals rely on canes to restore function when facing a mobility issue. In acute care, there is no evidence of the best new cane with a single point for patients. Jointed canes have been favored by some because it mimics the ankle joint. The most common jointed cane is called the Hurricane. There have been no studies that demonstrate these claims. Also, there are no studies which compare single point canes to jointed canes. Purpose: The purpose of our study is to assess the effect of the jointed cane, offset cane, and single axis cane (SAC) on energy expenditure and distance ambulated. Methods: Fifty healthy subjects performed two timed tests while using the three types of canes and wearing pedometers. Blood pressure, heart rate and rate of perceived exertion were taken before and after the timed tests. Results: A Repeated Measures ANOVA assessed non-significant differences between the canes on energy variables. Main effects were found on distance measures, F=163.88, p=.00 (2MWT) and F=4.44, p=.01 (6MWT). Paired t-tests assessed distance differences as p=. 01 for the jointed cane/ SAC; p=.03 offset cane /jointed cane. Conclusion: This was the first study to assess the jointed cane compared to the offset single point cane and traditional handle single point cane. The results demonstrate less distance traveled with the jointed cane as compared to the other canes on timed tests. Energy expenditure was similar regardless of cane type.

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