The first thing that comes to many people’s minds when they hear the word “walking stick” is that of a very old man who has impaired balance or has difficulty in walking. It is common nowadays to see elderly people using walking sticks to help them ambulate. But, the truth is that walking sticks are also of great help to people who don’t have difficulty in walking, such as hikers. A walking stick can be very helpful for support when walking on uneven terrain.
Walking is a very essential task that humans need in order to develop. It is humankind’s primary source of transportation, and it has been used since time immemorial. Walking sticks can act as a secondary leg and help an individual maintain one’s capacity to move. Here are several tips on how to properly use the walking stick.
- Choose the right one. There are different walking sticks you can choose from, namely: cane, quadripod, crutch, pick up frame, and wheelie frame. All are used depending on the weight and the type of condition and pain you are experiencing. Ask for medical advise from your doctor in order to identify the appropriate walking sticks.
- Pick the right height or length. A good walking stick should have the appropriate height in order to give maximum support. Usually, the top of the walking stick should reach the wrist while you are fully erect. If the walking stick is too short, it may result in back injuries due to long periods of bending down. If it’s too high, then it may not provide enough support to an individual. Simply put, when using the walking stick, you shouldn’t be bending down too much at all.
- Hold the stick by the opposite hand. If the affected leg is on the left, then hold the walking stick with the right hand. In doing so, it lessens the effort of the affected leg, making it easier to walk.
- Select a walking stick that has intact rubber stoppers on one tip and rubber for grasping on the top. Have someone check if the rubber on your walking stick is intact. If not, have them replaced immediately. These rubber stoppers can help avoid the risk of slipping in slippery areas. Avoid using your walking stick if the rubber stoppers are broken.
- Choose the right maneuver when using the stairs. When going up a flight of stairs, use first your unaffected side up to the next step, then together with the cane move the affected side up. When going down the stairs, place your affected side and the cane down, then lower yourself down by bending the unaffected side’s knee until your foot is on the next stair, then bring the unaffected side to the stair beside the affected leg.
- You can use it when unused. When not in motion, you can use your walking stick to ward off stray dogs, or as a weapon against incoming danger.
These are just a few of the important guidelines to consider when using a walking stick. If you follow the instructions carefully, then you’ll not encounter any problem using the stick. You’ll be back moving in no time. Just always remember to be cautious and think of your safety.