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8 Tell-tale Signs You Might Need a Walking Stick

Posted by Essentialaids on March 23rd, 2020

A walking stick is one of the most important disability aids that helps a person gain independence and enhance the quality of life. However, people may have difficulty deciding whether they require a walking cane/stick or not.

Though circumstances may vary from person to person, people generally require a walking stick to enhance body balance and stability. As a rule of thumb, your body starts indicating the need for some type of walking aid through various signs.

Let's understand in detail the most general scenarios where you may need this valuable walking aid.

  • Doctor's Recommendation

If a doctor recommends using a walking aid, you should start using it without any delay. This is because only a professional is qualified enough to assess your condition thoroughly and advise you rightly.

Even if you feel you need a walking aid, it is recommendable to avoid going on a hunch. You should always seek medical advice first before picking a walking aid.

  • Pain in Joints

If you experience unbearable pain in your knees or ankles while walking, a walking cane may help alleviate your pain. In some cases, a walking cane alone may suffice. In some other cases, you may need a combination of two or more disability aids like a wheelchair, over bed table, etc.

  • Back Pain

People generally don't consider using a walking aid as long as they don't start facing issues with walking. However, severe back pain may also lead to poor posture and hunching problems. So, if you experience back pain while walking or later, you should go consult a physiotherapist to find out whether you need a walking cane or any other mobility aid.

  • Leg Injury/Accident

A leg injury (like a minor sprain, cramp or fracture) may present problems in walking. If you try to walk without any aid, you may strain on the affected part further. A walking cane may come in handy to ease pressure on the affected part and prevent the situation from worsening.

You should seek advice from a physiotherapist to find out the right type that would fit your requirements the best.

  • Assistance in Walking

If you have recently undergone surgery in your lower extremity parts like legs or thighs, you may feel (shaky/wobbly) when walking without support. If you can't walk independently and require to grab nearby objects like furniture, door knobs, you may need a walking cane.

  • Balance Issues

If you suffer from a neurological disorder like:

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Vertigo
  • Cochlear hydrops
  • Meniere's disease, etc.,

that causes balance problems then you may require a walking cane to maintain stability.

  • Tiredness

Even if you don't suffer from any balance or mobility issues, you may need a walking aid if you are too tired to walk. This may be due to a condition like asthma when you run out of your breath after walking for long distances. Canes and sticks can provide you with great support during long distances and help you regain your breath.

  • Old Age Issues

Though old age blesses you with wisdom, maturity and empathy; it deprives you of strength and energy. Further, several age-related issues like osteoarthritis, Parkinson's disease, spondylitis, etc. increase the risk of fall injuries.

A walking aid won't only help prevent fall injuries but also provide great support and balance for walking. It also alleviates the pain you experience due to ageing-related conditions.

Therefore, if you feel symptoms of an age-related issues, go see your doctor. Find out what exactly is the cause of those symptoms. After that, you can figure out the right mobility/disability aid(s) for you by consulting a physiotherapist.

A wrong choice of a walking stick may be of no use for you. So, you should always keep two things in mind while choosing the right model for yourself - height and weight-bearing capacity.

First, it should be strong enough to distribute and support your weight properly without breaking. Second, its height should be optimal. A very short stick or cane will force you to bend over too much putting extra pressure on your arms leading to muscle spasms. Similarly, a very long stick may fail to support your body weight properly.

The best way would be to take help from a certified physiotherapist to get this walking aid of optimal dimensions.

In a Nutshell

A walking stick is one of the disability aids that helps a person with leg injuries, short-term or chronic mobility issues. At times, deciding when to start using aids like sticks or canes may be tricky at times.

However, you can always combine some tell-tale signs and a professional therapist's consultation to decide when to start using a walking aid.

Also See: Walking Aid, Walking Cane, Walking Stick, Disability Aids, Walking, Aid, Stick

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