How to correctly use a walking stick for first-time users
A walking stick might seem like a straightforward walking aid to use, but for first-time users, it’s important to get it right to get the full support you require and avoid discomfort. In this blog post, we highlight some things to consider when using your walking stick for the first time.
Hold your walking stick in the correct hand
Many people hold their walking aid in their dominant hand or on the side of the weaker leg. This is a common mistake; the walking stick should be held on the side of the stronger leg. For example, if your right leg is stronger, you need to hold the stick in your right hand, even if you’re left-handed!
Why is this necessary? Well, it’s all to do with our balance when we walk. When your weaker leg steps forward, the opposite hand will also swing forward, providing balance and support. Therefore, holding the stick or cane on your stronger side will increase the amount of support you have.
Ensure you have the correct height
The last thing you want is a walking stick that isn’t the right height for you! In fact, having a stick that’s too short can result in back or hip pain, and having it too long could cause neck or shoulder pain.
To ensure you have the correct height, stand with your arm by your side, then bend your elbow so that your forearm is at a 45-degree angle. Then, measure from your wrist to the floor.
Some walking sticks are adjustable, so choose the notch closest to this height. Getting the correct length walking stick will make sure that your weight is spread evenly and that pressure is relieved on your joints as you walk.
Check the ferrules
After you’ve used your walking stick for a while, it’s always worth keeping an eye on the rubber foot, known as the ‘ferrule’. If you notice signs of wear and tear, you can get these ferrules easily replaced.
Get the right handle for your walking stick
If you suffer from arthritis, it’s really worth looking at getting a walking stick with a specialised handle. Designed with a palm grip, these handles help to spread the weight and improve comfort.
If you’d like to find out more about our range of walking sticks and canes we have, give us a quick call on 01905 29950, or drop by and see us in-store at our shop in Worcester.