Cane Vs. Rollator: Which One Is The Right Fit For Arthritis Patients?

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About one in five American adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, this according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Arthritis, in general, is defined as a joint inflammation. This disease includes over 100 types of rheumatic diseases and conditions. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.

A person with arthritis usually experience aching, pain, swelling and stiffness around or in the joints.

Cane Vs. Rollator: Which One Is The Right Fit For Arthritis Patients?

According to the CDC, about 44% of Americans with arthritis report no leisure-time physical activity. Absence of physical activity, according to the CDC is “bad for arthritis … is a risk factor for other chronic diseases, and interferes with management of other conditions.”

Right Fit For Arthritis Patients

Health care professionals often prescribed a cane or rollator for patients with arthritis.

What are the bases for deciding which one is the right assistive device for a patient to become physically active?

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) provides these guidelines on whether a patient with arthritis (especially of the knees and hips) requires a cane or a rollator:

1. Weight bearing capacity
A cane can only support up to 25% of the weight of the user; while a rollator can support up 50% of the weight of the patient.

2. Balance problem
A cane can only support mild balance problems; while a rollator can support moderately severe balance problems.

3. Body part support
A cane can only support one part of the body (injured foot or leg); while a rollator can support both parts of the body (generalized weakness of hips and both sides of the legs).

In the paper entitled “Assistive Technologies in the Home” published in Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, authors K. Brummel-Smith and Mariana Dangiolo wrote that a rollator is beneficial to patients with limited endurance like those with pulmonary or cardiac problems. The reason for this is that rollators like the Winnie Mimi Lite Deluxe Rollator has a seat where the user can rest when he or she feels tired.
The rollator also requires wide spaces, door openings to accommodate its passage.

Users of both the cane and rollator need to have good hand control and good cognition for safe use.

The height of both of these assistive devices also needs to be adjusted properly in order to prevent shoulder, back, hand or wrist pain. The AGS recommends the following steps to adjust the height;
Use your normal shoes.
Let your arms hang loosely on your sides.
Request for assistance to measure the distance from the floor to your wrist.
Based on this measurement, make adjustment to the length of the device.
Proper height is achieved when a 20 to 30-degree bend is noticeable once you hold the handle of the Assault and Battery device.