Make sure you are using a walking stick or cane correctly.
Properly used, a walking stick or cane can relieve pressure on painful joints and can improve your balance. However, used incorrectly a walking stick or cane could increase your risk of having a fall and may lead to injuring another area of your body. Follow these guidelines to make sure you're getting it right.
Finding the Right Height
To make sure your stick is the right height for you, stand up and relax your arms by your side. Notice the position of the bone on the outside of your wrist. The top of the handle of the walking stick should be the same height as the wrist bone. Setting the correct height will reduce pressure on your shoulders, arms and wrists.
Use Your Stick on the Opposite Side
It is a common mistake to use a walking stick on your weak side. This causes you to lean heavily on the stick on the painful side. The stick should go on the strong side and move with the weak side. Using the walking stick on the opposite side to your injury allows you to shift your weight more to the stronger side.
How to Walk Correctly With a Stick
Move the weak or injured leg and the cane together. This way each side of the body shares the load. As you step forward, your walking stick and the opposite foot should hit the floor at the same time. Then step forward onto the stronger leg, through the middle. This may take practice as it is like having three legs, but persevere as walking this way will mean a smooth and even step, reducing stress on the rest of your body.
When walking up stairs, step up with the stronger leg first and follow with the stick and weaker leg using the stick to help you push up. When walking down, use the stick and weaker leg first. The stick will help take weight off the painful limb.
Maintain Good Posture
Keep your back as straight as you can. Try not to lean too far to one side or too far forward. While it is OK to put weight on the walking stick, try to keep your centre of balance close to the body. As you walk, only swing the stick as far in front of you as your leg would normally reach, so as not to overextend your arm.
When not in use, you can fold your waking back into 4 sections and place it in the stylish carry bag. You can buy a Blue Badge Co Walking sticks and bags by clicking here. The bag has a useful D ring, so that the stick can be attached to another bag if require.