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Walking Stick Safety Guide

Thursday, 2 November 2017  |  Eugene

Walking Stick Safety Guide

Walking Stick-Related Injuries

  • 41,035 injuries in the US annually
  • 29% occur on the lower trunk
  • 24% require hospitalisation
  • 15% occur to the head
  • 76% occur to those over 64
  • 58% occur around the home

Tips for Walking Sticks Users

  • Don't wear slippers: wear supportive shoes instead of slippers
  • Proper lighting: make sure hallways and stairs are properly lit
  • Avoid hazards: loose rugs, wet leaves, icy pavement, stairs et cetera

Common Mistakes

  • Leaning too heavily on the stick
  • Using the stick on the same side as the injury
  • Not taking ferrule into account when cutting stick
  • Using furniture instead of cane for support around the house

Ensure Your Walking Stick's Safe

  • Check wooden sticks for any cracks
  • Check for bends or loose parts
  • Check that the ferrule isn't worn down
  • Check adjustable sticks aren't worn around joints

How to Walk with a Stick

On flat surfaces:

  • Ensure that the stick is on the opposite side to your injury
  • Level your shoulders and bend your elbows slightly
  • Hit the floor with your stick and injured foot/leg at the same time
  • Swing the unaffected foot through without overextending

On stairs:

  • Hold onto a handrail whenever possible
  • Place the stick on the same step as the affected leg
  • Lead with the healthy leg going up, injured leg going down

Can Proper Technique Help You?

Yes! How can it help?

  • Relieve back pain
  • Help you live independently
  • Put less strain on the body
  • Help avoid slips and falls